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Gash welcomes Prime Minister's energy plan.



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PRESS RELEASE

Joanna Gash MP Member for Gilmore

GASH WELCOMES PRIME MINISTER'S ENERGY PLAN

New incentives announced today by the Government to encourage a move towards alternative fuels will not only provide relief to Australian motorists but will also stimulate the production of ethanol and further secure jobs for Bomaderry's Manildra plant, says Gilmore MP, Joanna Gash. "The Prime Minister has met the challenge of the energy crisis head on and acted with resolve and determination to encourage Australians to lessen their dependence on petrol.

"This package encompasses a number of areas including LPG conversions, incentives for service stations to put in E10 bowsers and incentives if the consumption target of 350 million litres production by 2010 is arrived at earlier than planned.

"In offering these incentives we expect in return that the ethanol would be sold at a discount price and I am happy to learn that Caltex, Shell and BP have already said they would.

"Our very own ethanol service station on Kinghorne Street has battled to be heard and now they have been vindicated in the best possible way.

"I've got to commend them for their courage and determination in the face of negative publicity and for sticking with it through the tough times.

"For myself, I am converting my vehicle to run on E85 and I would hope that the motoring public is confident enough to move from E10 to E85 as outlets become available.

"As these come on line with the support of the public, I will be pursuing the government for a subsidy for the E85 conversion unit in vehicles which currently costs about $400 to have the little box installed.

"At the moment, LPG is 40% the price of unleaded fuel so the $2000 subsidy to convert used cars to LPG is something that will help those on limited means.

"The government will also encourage research and development in other areas including solar power, coal and gas liquefaction and further petroleum exploration.

"As a long time advocate of the use of ethanol, I am personally delighted by the news but more so because this government has taken the bit by the teeth and is doing something positive about the crisis confronting us all.

"We should be exploring alternative resources because the price of petrol is not going to go down, even with new discoveries of oil.

"The simple fact is that world demand is far outstripping supply and that means the cost has to go up.

"I cannot see any long term benefit in cutting excise for short term gain because all that does is delay the inevitable and when it catches up it will hurt even more.

"The government has done the right thing and I believe as time goes on, the search for alternative energies announced today will benefit us further down the track.

"The OECD said in its economic survey two weeks ago that Australia is one of a handful of developed economies to have averaged 3 per cent annual growth since the start of the millennium - a performance that is forecast to continue in 2006 and 2007.

"I believe that with today's announcement, if these initiatives are taken up by the public, Australians can be assured that we will weather the present fuel crisis and continue to prosper under a government whose economic credentials have been well and truly proved", Mrs Gash said.

14/08/06

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