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


9 May 2000

Greenhouse Boost for Regional and Rural Australia


Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage, Dr Sharman Stone, said today that regional and rural Australia were clearly big winners from the first environment budget of the new millennium.

"The focus of this year's $880 million environment budget will be in supporting regional and rural communities to protect this nation's land, water, flora and fauna," Sharman Stone said.

"In particular a range of greenhouse grants totalling $200 million will be available for renewable power generation in remote areas, greenhouse gas reductions, converting large vehicles to natural gas, diesel and alternative fuels grants and cash rebates for conversion of houses and community buildings to solar power."

"Far from being 'city-centric', these new greenhouse initiatives will help regional and rural Australia access new technology, create new jobs and explore export opportunities beyond the farm-gate."

$100 million per year for the next four years will be available for the Greenhouse Gas Abatement Program, the largest of the new greenhouse programs.

Funding opportunities for the Greenhouse Gas Abatement Program could include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by converting agricultural and forestry waste into energy, improving soil and stock management practices, limiting methane production from livestock and using native vegetation for carbon sinks.

Over the next four years $1 billion dollars will be invested in greenhouse gas reduction measures to help Australia achieve its commitments under the Kyoto agreement.

Additional greenhouse environment initiatives in the 2000-2001 Budget with a regional and rural focus include:

For further details on the range of greenhouse programs announced in the 2000-2001 budget visit the Australian Greenhouse Website at www.greenhouse.gov.au or telephone 02 6274 1648.

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

Commonwealth of Australia