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Senator the Hon. Robert Hill
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

Federal Budget 2000-2001

EMBARGO: 8.00pm May 9, 2000

RENEWABLE ENERGY TARGETS A STEP CLOSER


The Howard Government's world-leading campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has been further boosted with $6.5 million over four years to promote renewable energy.

Federal Environment and Heritage Minister Senator Robert Hill said the funding builds upon the Howard Government's already significant funding commitments to address the challenge of climate change.

"The Coalition has committed almost $1 billion to greenhouse gas reduction programs over the next five years. This is one of the largest commitments of government funding to a single issue in such a short time. It is the largest amount of per capita funding for greenhouse of any nation.

"The $6.5 million will be allocated over four years to establish an agency to oversee progress towards meeting the national target of 9,500 gigawatt hours a year by 2010. This is about equivalent to the residential electricity consumption of a city of around four million people each year.

"To achieve this, wholesale purchasers of electricity will be legally required to source increasing amounts of electricity from renewable energy sources. Legislation is being drafted to allow this measure to begin on 1 January next year," Senator Hill said.

The achievement of the Government's renewable energy target will result in the reduction of approximately 5.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gases by 2010.

"This measure is part of a strategic approach to addressing the problem of climate change. It guarantees a market for new renewable energy which provides a boost to this developing industry.

"The development of Australia's renewable energy industry will establish a strong base for increasing generation of electricity from less greenhouse intensive renewable energy sources and will make a continuing contribution to addressing the global climate change problem.

"The new agency will oversee the implementation of this measure. It will be a separate statutory authority set up by legislation likely to be introduced to federal Parliament in the winter sittings.

"The Australian Greenhouse Office is the world's first dedicated national greenhouse office and drives the Federal Government's climate change programs."

The way that the GST affects Budget estimates, accounting statements and appropriations is described in Budget Paper No.4.

Contact: Rod Bruem (02) 6277 7640 or 0419 258 364

Commonwealth of Australia