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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

20 April 2001

Massive Boost for Renewable Energy in Outback

More than $38 million in Commonwealth funding will support a new program to increase the use of renewable energy in remote areas of the Northern Territory.

Announcing the move, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Robert Hill said the Government was pleased to approve the Northern Territory's Renewable Energy Rebate Program under the Commonwealth Government's Renewable Remote Power Generation Program.

The program will provide a 50 percent rebate to cover the cost of installing renewable energy generation to reduce the use of diesel for electricity generation.

The program is likely to benefit more than 650 indigenous communities, 250 pastoral properties and about 50 tourist operations in the Northern Territory. Remote industrial operations such as mines are also eligible for funding under the program.

"Through these programs, remote households, communities and businesses in the Northern Territory will reduce their reliance on diesel fuel and move towards clean, renewable energy," Senator Hill said.

"The Northern Territory program is likely to reduce diesel consumption by over ten million litres per year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 500,000 tonnes over the life of the project."

Indigenous communities are expected to be major beneficiaries of the Renewable Energy Rebate Program funding.

For some households, the addition of photovoltaic arrays, wind turbines, inverters and batteries will make access to 24-hour power affordable for the first time.

"This program has the potential to really improve the quality of life for people in remote parts of the Northern Territory. At the moment many of these people only have access to electricity for part of the day."

The Renewable Remote Power Generation Program is administered by the Australian Greenhouse Office and will provide up to $264 million in funding for conversion of diesel based electricity supplies to renewable energy technologies.

Further information on the operation of the Renewable Energy Rebate Program is available from the Department of Mines and Energy in the Northern Territory.

Friday, April 20, 2001

Contact: Belinda Huppatz 08 82377920 or 0419 258364

Commonwealth of Australia