The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP
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Joint Media Release
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
Senator for Northern Territory
9 June 2004
The Northern Territory's commitment to greenhouse gas reduction initiatives was recognised today by the Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp.
During a visit to Darwin with Northern Territory Senator, Nigel Scullion, Dr Kemp announced $1.57 million in Australian Government funding for two solar power projects at the remote Bradshaw and Kangaroo Flats Defence training facilities.
"The Territory's businesses and community are commended for playing their part in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," Dr Kemp said.
"The Australian Government has provided more than $40 million funding for renewable energy initiatives in the Northern Territory. This includes more than $38 million funding for projects in remote communities reliant on diesel power through the Australian Greenhouse Office's Renewable Remote Power Generation Program .
"This program, and the projects announced today, support the switch to clean energy which reduces reliance on diesel-generated power, providing both economic and environmental benefits."
In welcoming today's funding announcement, Senator Scullion said the two solar projects are expected to reduce diesel fuel consumption by more than 360,000 litres and greenhouse gas emissions by around 1000 tonnes each year.
"In addition to its support for renewable energy projects, the Australian Government has been working closely with local governments and communities to respond to the challenges of climate change, through a range of programs such as Cities for Climate ProtectionT (CCPT) and Cool Communities," Senator Scullion said.
Dr Kemp added: "The Australian Government is maintaining its strong commitment to assisting local governments, communities and householders to take practical action to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions through the new Local Greenhouse Action measure announced in the Federal Budget, which will provide funding of $13.8 million over 4 years."
A number of organisations from urban and remote areas, including indigenous households, have developed and trialled innovative methods to cut greenhouse gas emissions, save money and improve their lifestyle through the Cool Communities program. In addition, Alice Springs Town Council and Palmerston Council are members of the CCPT program Australia, the fastest growing CCPT program in the world - with more councils signed up and taking action than any other country.
"Industry and community partnerships are an important component of the Australian Government's $1 billion investment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change is everybody's business, and Territorians are to be congratulated for their commitment to this important global issue," Dr Kemp said.
Details of Australian Government initiatives for greenhouse gas abatement projects in the Northern Territory are attached.
The Renewable Remote Power Generation Program (RRPGP) is an Australian Government initiative that provides rebates for renewable generation equipment that displaces diesel generation in remote parts of Australia.
The budget for RRPGP activities in the Northern Territory is based on the relevant Diesel Fuel Excise paid by public power generators in the years 2000-01 to 2003-04, which is presently estimated to be $46.2 million.
Of the total Program funding available in the Northern Territory, $38.2 million has been allocated to the Renewable Energy Rebate Program.
Previous RRPGP projects in the Northern Territory include:
The Bradshaw and Kangaroo Flats Defence Training Facilities are situated about 630 km southwest and 90 km south of Darwin respectively. Both facilities are off the Territory's main power grid, and depend heavily on diesel fuel for power generation.
The Australian Government, through the Australian Greenhouse Office, is contributing $1.204 million for a 112.5-kilowatt flat plate photovoltaic (solar cell) array at the Bradshaw site. In addition, $0.362 million funding is being provided for an 18.4-kilowatt photovoltaic system at the Kangaroo Flat Facility.
Darwin Palmerston - an urban Darwin community which has been involved in Cool Communities since 2002. Currently they are running home energy audits, workshops and social events to engage households. They are also offering participants green discounts and tropical climate specific greenhouse information.
Desert Knowledge Australia - a coalition of 80 organisations in Alice Springs has been involved in Cool Communities since 2002. They are currently running workshops and conducting free home energy audits for households. They have also developed a community garden, which is water and energy efficient (significant energy is used to pump water in Alice Springs) and are holding a Retrofit Day to encourage residents to purchase energy efficient products for their homes.
Haasts Bluff Ikuntji - a remote Aboriginal community participated in Cool Communities during 2002 - 2003 to implement a rubbish collection service based on the use of 'wheelie bins' where previously rubbish had been burned off. The project was successful, not only in having the new rubbish management system adopted, but in raising awareness about energy, pollution and health issues.
CCPT Australia has 187 member councils covering over 73% of the Australian population.
In the NT, there are currently 2 member councils covering some 25% of the state population - Alice Springs Town Council and the Palmerston Council in Darwin.
The strong commitment of Australian councils to the program has made CCPT Australia the fastest growing CCPT program in the world with more councils signed up and taking action than any other country.
Recent reports of greenhouse abatement actions undertaken by more than 95 CCPT councils show that over 1100 abatement measures are underway, leading to greenhouse gas abatement of 767,000 tonnes CO2-e in 2002-03.