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Wednesday, 13 August 2003
Page: 18505


Mr Organ asked the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, upon notice, on 18 June 2003:

(1) Is it the case that the Australian Greenhouse Office has invested at least $3.6 million of taxpayers' funds in two organisations, Refrigerant Reclaim Australia and the National Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Council Ltd.

(2) In respect of (a) Refrigerant Reclaim Australia and (b) the National Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Council Ltd, (i) what is their legal status, (ii) what are their structures, (iii) who are their directors, (iv) who are their key operating personnel, and (v) will he provide their latest financial reports.

(3) What are the details of any contracts between the organisations and the Government.


Dr Kemp (Minister for the Environment and Heritage) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Refrigerant Reclaim Australia and the National Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Council jointly submitted an application and were successful in being awarded a Greenhouse Gas Abatement Program (GGAP) performance-based grant for up to $3.56 million to facilitate better handling and recovery of hydrofluorocarbon and perfluorocarbon refrigerants. This activity is expected to result in abatement of greenhouse gases equivalent to 3.58 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

(2) (a) Refrigerant Reclaim Australia (RRA)

(i) RRA is a company limited by guarantee. It exists primarily to be the trustee of the Ozone Depleting Substance (ODS) Reclaim Trust. RRA is a not-for-profit industry-funded organisation that has been established to recover and destroy waste refrigerant gases.

(ii) RRA acts as a trustee to the ODS Reclaim Trust. It has a board of directors and a Chief Executive. RRA contracts with professional organisations to effect the recovery, trans-port, storage and destruction of waste refrigerants. RRA utilises world best practice Australian developed destruction technology to transform waste refrigerant to salts and water.

(iii) The Board of RRA is a vertical slice of the refrigeration and air conditioning industry with representatives from importers, wholesalers, contractors and end users of refrigerants. Current directors are from the following organisations:

· Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association (RACCA);

· Australian Refrigeration Wholesalers Association (ARWA);

· Australian Fluorocarbon Association (AFC);

· Vehicle Air-conditioning Specialists of Australasia (VASA); and

· Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Equipment Manufacturers Association (AREMA).

(iv) The Chief Executive of RRA is Michael Bennett.

(v) As RRA is not a publicly listed company, it is not required to produce public financial reports. However, RRA is required to report to the Australian Greenhouse Office on expenditure relating to its GGAP grant. No such reports are available at this time.

(b) National Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Council (NRAC)

(i) NRAC is a not-for-profit, limited liability company.

(ii) NRAC has a Board of Directors and a Chief Executive Officer. Current board members are:

· RACCA;

· ARWA;

· AREMA;

· VASA;

· RRA;

· Motor Traders Association of Australia (MTAA);

· Institute of Refrigeration Airconditioning Service Engineers (IRASE);

· Australian Institute of Refrigeration Air-conditioning and Heating (AIRAH); and

· Air-conditioning and Mechanical Contractors Association (AMCA).

(iii) Current Directors are from the following organisations:

· AIRAH;

· AREMA;

· ARWA;

· RACCA;

· VASA; and

· AMCA.

(iv) The key operating personnel are:

· Alan Woodhouse - Chief Executive Officer;

· George Thompson - Training and Certification Manager;

· Jim Allen - Publicity, Promotion and Marketing Manager;

· Bret Wright - South Australian State Manager;

· Paul Fassulo - New South Wales State Manager; and

· Mike Gilmore - Queensland State Manager.

(v) NRAC is currently preparing a financial report for the Australian Greenhouse Office covering the period from 19 September 2001 (when the first funding was received) to 30 June 2003. This statement has not yet been received.

(3) The Commonwealth signed GGAP Deeds of Agreement with Refrigerant Reclaim Australia and the National Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Council on 19 September 2001. As GGAP is focussed on the delivery of abatement in the Kyoto Protocol commitment period, and these projects therefore need to continue throughout this period, the Deeds of Agreement do not expire until 2013.