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CSIRO report makes an important contribution to energy debate.

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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism

CSIRO REPORT MAKES AN IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION TO ENERGY DEBATE Today's CSIRO report: Fuel for thought - The future of transport fuels: challenges and opportunities, represents an important contribution to Australia's energy and climate change debate.

Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP said: "The Government is encouraged by the CSIRO modelling which confirmed gas-to-liquids technology - producing ultra-clean diesel and jet fuel - is likely to be a key to Australia’s long-term fuel security. The modelling also confirmed that advanced biofuels which limit competition with food production, are expected to play a key role.

"The Government is already taking steps to develop and commercialise these alternate fuels in Australia, with $15 million allocated in the 2008 Budget to second generation biofuels and work well under way towards a Gas-to-Liquids and Coal-to-Liquids action agenda.

"The report notes that the introduction of emission trading is unlikely to radically change the transport sector with price impacts much lower than oil price movements over the last four years. However, the report warns a near-term peak in global oil production could lead to significant petrol price increases. That is why the Government has repeatedly called for increased investment in international oil supply capacity.

"Investment in production and refining infrastructure is desperately needed. As I last month told the Jeddah Energy Meeting in Saudi Arabia, several factors are distorting the global demand and supply of oil which can only be solved through international cooperation and increased investment. We all know there is no simple solution to the international problem of record oil prices however the Australian Government will continue to try to achieve international cooperation to find ways to balance supply and demand in a more sustainable way."

Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research said: ""The future fuels forum is exactly the kind of collaboration that is essential in tackling the challenges of the future - including around climate change and oil prices. It is particularly pleasing to see industry working with environment groups and researchers to forge a high-tech, high-employment path to a low-carbon economy.

"However it is important to note that Fuel for Thought represents the views of the partners in the collaboration, and is not a CSIRO report. It is the nature of public debate on these matters that some views will be controversial, and contested. CSIRO's world-class scientists are informing the global debate, as well as providing hands-on solutions to real-world problems. The Government is also taking concrete action to address the issues identified in this report - initiatives like the Green Car Innovation Fund and new Retooling for Climate Change program for manufacturers."

Media contacts: Michael Bradley - 0420 37 17 44

RET Minister > The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

11 Jul 2008