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Red tape cut on national greenhouse reporting.



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MEDIA RELEASE The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP Minister for the Environment and Water Resources

T108 /07 17 July 2007

RED TAPE CUT ON NATIONAL GREENHOUSE REPORTING

The Australian Government will invest $26.1 million over five years to set up a single, streamlined system for greenhouse and energy reporting by Australian companies, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Malcolm Turnbull, confirmed today.

“This new system, announced today by Prime Minister Howard, will provide nationally consistent greenhouse gas emissions and energy data,” Mr Turnbull said.

“Australian business can expect the duplications, red tape and cost burden of existing reporting requirements to be reduced through the new legislation being developed by this Government.

“Many companies already involved in monitoring their emissions through other programmes - with some having to prepare up to eight different reports - will benefit from a single, streamlined national reporting system.

“Industry will now have an opportunity to contribute to the development of a world class domestic emissions trading scheme through the effective and efficient provision of essential information.

“The new system will also, for the first time, provide easily accessible company level information to investors and the general public on greenhouse gas emissions and energy use by Australia’s major companies.

Mr Turnbull said those companies that were already actively managing their greenhouse and energy profile through reporting were also finding they were able to achieve more efficient and sustainable practices - a critical effort in our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting climate change.

“The Australian Government will continue to work with state and territory governments to ensure that the system meets their needs and delivers genuine reductions in red tape and cost to business,” he said.

The system is expected to be in place by July 2008. It will be consistent with the proposal agreed to by the Council of Australian Governments in April 2007, based on broad consultation with all levels of government and industry. Reporting will be managed through a system based on the Australian Government’s Online System for Comprehensive Activity Reporting, developed for the Greenhouse Challenge Plus programme.

Companies emitting more than 125,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases or using or producing more than 500 terajoules of energy will be required to report at the start of the new system, as will facilities1 emitting more than 25,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases or using or producing 100 terajoules2 of energy.

The threshold for companies will be phased down over time to 50,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases or 200 terajoules of energy used or produced, to allow smaller companies to prepare for their reporting requirements. The facility threshold will remain the same.

“Around 700 companies will be required to provide detailed reports on their greenhouse gas emissions and energy use and production under the new system. This will improve the ability of governments and companies to monitor emissions and respond to the challenge of reducing emissions,” Mr Turnbull said.

“This new measure is another key element of the Australian Government’s investment of almost $3.4 billion on climate change action.

“Our response to this global challenge will continue to be based on sound data and science, so that we can develop measured actions that will meet our global responsibilities and further build our economic prosperity,” he said.

Further consultation with stakeholders about the new regulations will be held later in 2007. Further details are available at: www.greenhouse.gov.au/reporting

Media Contact: Brad Burke 0400 337 252

FOR EDITORS

1. A facility may be defined as a single physical area (or in the special case of some mining and mineral processing activities, a series of physical areas within a single production process) containing buildings, machinery, plant, appliances, equipment, implements, tools or other items that use energy and/or produce greenhouse gas emissions, and has a single ANZSIC classification.

2. 1 terajoule = 1000 gigajoules 1 gigajoule = 1000 megajoules 3.6 megajoules = 1 kilowatt hour.