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Wednesday, 17 October 1984
Page: 1856


Senator ROBERTSON —I refer the Minister representing the Minister for Resources and Energy to the provision of $13.2m in the 1984 Budget to fund new energy research projects. Can the Minister advise the Senate of progress made this year in approving new grants for energy research? In particular, can the Minister assure the Senate that the Government is giving high priority to research in the fields of renewable energy and energy conservation?


Senator GRIMES —Yes, I can assure the Senate that the Government and the Minister for Resources and Energy have a concern in this area. The 1984 list of new grants shows that about $1.7m went to 26 new projects in the area of renewable energy-wind energy, solar energy, and related systems. This is an important series of grants in light of the world energy shortage and the difficulties with other forms of energy development and their side effects. Over $2.3m went to 25 new projects in energy conservation, which will also be of increasing importance as the sources of non-renewable energy fuels diminish-a total of $4m to about 51 projects. A total amount of $14m for 99 new projects in these priority areas has been given by the Government. The Government is pleased to be able to support such projects after receiving advice from its independent advisers. These are high quality projects. They are very important for the development of world energy sources, in Australia in particular. For the information of honourable senators I will table rather than read out a list of national energy research, development and demonstration program grants approved in 1984 so that the proof of what I am saying and the proof of the Government's bona fides in these areas can be available to all.