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Tuesday, 8 February 2005
Page: 236


Senator O’Brien asked the Minister representing the Minister for Education, Science and Training, upon notice, on 20 December 2004:

Has Primary Energy Limited sought funding or other assistance from any department or agency for which the Minister is responsible in connection with the company’s ethanol project at Gunnedah; if so, will the Minister provide details including: (a) date; (b) amount of funding or other assistance sought; (c) relevant departmental or agency program from which funding or other assistance was sought; and (d) funding or other assistance provided or currently under consideration.


Senator Vanstone (Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs) —The Minister for Education, Science and Training has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

Primary Energy Limited is receiving assistance from the CSIRO on a contract basis including full cost-recovery for time, travel and materials. CSIRO Atmospheric Research is undertaking a life-cycle assessment of the greenhouse gas and air pollution emissions from the proposed ethanol facility at Gunnedah, NSW for Primary Energy Limited.

(a)   Work commenced on 14 October 2004.

(b)   CSIRO entered into the contract with Primary Energy Limited in September 2003 to undertake a life-cycle assessment of the greenhouse gas and air pollution emissions from the proposed ethanol facility at Gunnedah, NSW. CSIRO will receive $98,700 for the work which is expected to be completed in early 2005. Primary Energy Limited approached CSIRO because management believed that by using state-of-the art technology and farming techniques they would be able to demonstrate substantial greenhouse gas benefits.

(c)   CSIRO Atmospheric Research.

(d)   CSIRO has been formally contracted by Primary Energy Limited to undertake the life-cycle assessment of the greenhouse gas and air pollution emissions from the proposed ethanol facility at Gunnedah, NSW. CSIRO envisages that this work will constitute a “stand-alone” piece of work and no follow-up work is planned. The work is being done at full cost recovery and there is no CSIRO/government financial assistance included.