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Media Release
Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP
Federal Member for Murray

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister
for the Environment and Heritage

5 May 2001

EMBARGO - 11pm Saturday May 5th

Sydney Harbour's 'Solar Sailor' carries off Oz Design Award

A distinctive Sydney Harbour Tourist Ferry that operates on solar and wind power has claimed a prestigious Australian Design Award in a ceremony in Melbourne tonight.

The Australian Design Awards aim to present the Australian public and the world the best examples of Australian product design and high quality design expertise. They have encouraged excellence in Australian product design for over 40 years.

Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, presented the Australian Design Award to the Solar Sailor Tourism Ferry.

"This unique 100 person tourist catamaran is driven by 'solar wings' that are able to sail and collect solar energy at the same time, using technology first pioneered by NASA", Sharman Stone said.

"The vessel also has a long product life cycle - meaning that it takes longer to become redundant, sparing our landfills, and has little impact on the environment. The solar panels, batteries and computers have no moving parts and the motors have only one moving part - meaning the vessel requires little maintenance".

"This is truly an example of a 'triple bottom line' design; good for the economic, social and environmental well being of the business", Sharman Stone said.

The other Australian Design Award winner this evening was the Cannon 'UI Card'. This 'smart card' uses revolutionary new technology to bring Internet access directly into the lounge room.

The UI Card will initially be available to cable subscribers and will allow the viewer to watch multimedia interactive content on the television without using a remote control or keyboard.

The current Australian Design Awards program was developed by Standards Australia in 1991 to promote Australian design internationally. Other winners on this years program included the world's first, fully patented four-wheel steerable baby stroller, a CSIRO inspired hybrid-electric car and the first completely Australian designed and manufactured motorbike.

"The concepts and products on show at the Australian Design Awards demonstrate innovation and design excellence that will result in export opportunities for Australian designers and manufacturers", Sharman Stone said.

For further information please contact:
Simon Frost 0419 495 468
May 5th, 2001

Commonwealth of Australia