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The Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP
Federal Member for Murray
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister
for the Environment and Heritage


16 May 2000

Goulburn Valley TAFE 'Greenprint' for Better Business


Local businesses looking to boost productivity, and students seeking a new career direction, are being encouraged to 'go back to school' to take advantage of Goulburn Ovens TAFE innovative new waste management course.

Dr Sharman Stone MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage, said the Federal Government had invested $50,000 in the development of the Business Sustainability -Profiting Through Cleaner Production Course, being trialed nationally for the first time at the Goulburn Ovens TAFE.

"Agricultural and manufacturing waste from the fruit and dairy industries are significant problems in the Goulburn Valley. Learning how to more efficiently manufacture and dispose of industrial by-products will deliver significant savings for business, and a healthier environment," Sharman Stone said.

The aim of course is to provide businesses with practical, cost-effective environmental audits of their production procedures. TAFE students will recruit a local business and conduct a 'cleaner production assessment', identifying waste reduction techniques arising from raw material, energy and labour usage and, look at the possible application of new technology. The data collected will then be converted into a 'business improvement plan', for implementation by the business enterprise.

"This course is about changing business behaviour in a practical and cost effective way, as well as training a future generation of farmers, manufacturers and environmental managers to produce top quality local products, with a minimum cost to the business bottom-line and the environment," Sharman Stone said.

"I want to congratulate Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE for recognising the importance of this new course to our region. They are one of only two tertiary institutions in Australia to be asked to trial this innovative course in eco-efficiency."

The course is being supported by a range of state, regional and local partners, including the Goulburn Valley Regional Waste Management Group.

Dr Stone said the course was one of a range of Commonwealth funded initiatives helping businesses to boost productivity, reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions.

"This year the Federal Government is investing a $400 million in a new Greenhouse Gas Abatement program to help regional and rural areas reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

"Funding will be available to develop renewable power sources in remote areas, convert agricultural and forestry waste into energy, limit methane production from stock and provide cash rebates for conversion of houses and communities buildings to solar power."

The Business Sustainability - Profiting Through Cleaner Production Course will be offered as either a two-day intensive program or 15 week full-time course at the Shepparton and Wangaratta Campuses in June. For further information contact the TAFE on 03 5833 2730.

Media Inquiries
Nicole Johnston, Assistant Adviser, 02 6277 2016 or 0419 219 415
16 May 2000

Commonwealth of Australia