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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

9 February 2006

From Tamworth to the Nation - lighting on Australian roads


Since the first electric public light was installed in Tamworth more than 116 years ago, Australian roads are now lit by 1.94 million lights, the Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, said today.

But Senator Campbell said while the lighting was important for good visibility on the roads, this growth had contributed to Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

An assessment of public lighting on Australian roads, including potential energy efficiency savings and greenhouse gas emissions of lighting equipment on Australian roads, appear in a new report, Public Lighting in Australia – Energy Efficiency Challenges and Opportunities, released today.

“The report provides the first complete picture of public lighting in Australia since the conversion from gas to electric lighting,” Senator Campbell said.

“The report identifies potential energy savings, including a 60 to 65 per cent reduction in annual energy use through the adoption of energy efficient lighting equipment.”

Annually, public lights costs $210 million, uses 1035 gigawatt hours of electricity (0.57 per cent of Australia’s total), and contributes 1.15 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (0.63 per cent of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions from electricity).

“Public lighting is a significant greenhouse issue for local government. The Australian Government actively supports local government to achieve greenhouse savings,” Senator Campbell said.

“Through the Local Greenhouse Action programme the Australian Government is providing $13.8 million over four years to engage with local government in identifying and implementing practical actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“This report features contributions from electricity distribution companies, local governments, state energy authorities, and public lighting manufacturers. Their contributions mean we now have a better understanding of public lighting in Australia,” he said.

Local Greenhouse Action is a component of the Australian Government’s $1.9 billion climate change strategy.

For a copy of the report visit www.greenhouse.gov.au/local

Media Contacts:
Renae Stoikos (Senator Campbell's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

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