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

21 June 1999

Building a PATHEway to Eco-Efficiency


Doing more with less is the principle behind the Federal Government's $330,000 'eco-efficiency' partnership with the Housing Industry Association, Sharman Stone MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage, said today.

The Federal Minister for Environment and Heritage, Senator Robert Hill, recently launched the HIA's Partnership Advancing the Housing Environment or PATHE strategy, which aims to reduce waste, improve energy efficiency and enhance the housing industry's overall environmental management practices.

"The PATHE strategy is a landmark agreement that sets out a comprehensive, practical strategy aimed at making our homes and commercial buildings more energy efficient," Mrs Stone said.

"The Housing Industry Association has seized the challenge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address the effects of climate change, proving that economic and environmental considerations can work hand-in-hand to achieve sustainable development."

Mrs Stone said the Federal Government's support was three-fold, with $150,000 contributed through the Australian Greenhouse Office for 'energy efficiency'; $180,000 through Environment Australia for PATHE infrastructure and a contribution towards employing a PATHE business manager within the HIA.

"With the development of the PATHE Strategy, the HIA has qualified to join the Federal Government's Greenhouse Challenge and WaterWise Programs, giving member organisations access to innovative environmental programs and incentives, and 'eco-friendly' promotional opportunities."

In addition, the Federal Government will assist in the publication of Waste Management Guidelines and contribute to the costs of running environmental training nights in urban and regional centres.

"The PATHE strategy sets down a range of voluntary best practice initiatives, as well as incorporating minimum energy performance requirements into the Building Code of Australia."

"With the PATHE strategy the HIA has established environmentally sustainable benchmarks for other industries to follow."

The support package for the housing industry will be extended with Federal Government funding and support across the wider building industry. The Australian Greenhouse Office will fund a nationwide energy ratings scheme, development of technical notes for architects, and support the Australian Building Energy Council's voluntary code of practice for commercial building energy use.

Mrs Stone said the Federal Government was also committed to community-based partnerships that helped to sustainably manage Australia's natural resources and achieve the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets established in the 1998 Kyoto Protocol.

"Through initiatives like the $1.25 billion Natural Heritage Trust, the $50 million Living Cities Program and $180 'Safeguarding the Future' greenhouse package, the Federal Government is committed to helping business, the community and local governments achieve long-term, ecologically sustainable development that does not compromise our unique, fragile natural resources," Sharman Stone said.

For further information please contact:
Nicole Johnston, 02 6277 2016 or 0419 219 415

Commonwealth of Australia