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Tuesday, 10 December 2002
Page: 7654

Senator Nettle asked the Minister representing the Minister for Trade, upon notice, on 17 September 2002:

(1) In relation to the 14 middle managers from Thai Government departments brought to Australia in June 2000 under a joint AusAID-Thai Government tour of coal-fired power stations in the Hunter Valley: Does the Government: (a) deny the purpose of this trip was to promote Australian coal and coal technology development, in particular Australian clean coal; and (b) have any plans for similar promotional activities for the renewable energy industry.

(2) What promotional activities does the Government have for renewable energy trade promotion in Asia in the 2002-03 financial year.

(3) Given that the Renewable Energy Action Agenda produced by the Department of Industry, Science and Resources states that, there is a wide range of Commonwealth Government Programs that jointly will provide around $387 million in funding to the [renewables] industry: How much funding, in Australian dollars: (a) does the Commonwealth provide the coal industry annually; and (b) has the Government provided the coal industry with in total over the past 5 years (for the period 1998 to 2002).

(4) Given that the agenda further states, the industrys most significant impediments are the relatively high cost of renewable energy products and energy market access barriers: How does the Government plan to combat these impediments.

Senator Hill (Minister for Defence) —The Minister for Trade has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The details requested in the honourable senator's question are not readily available from a single source. To collect and assemble such information solely for the purpose of answering the honourable senator's question would be a major task and I am not prepared to authorise the expenditure of resources and effort that would be involved.