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Why the bias Minister?

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Senator Meg Lees Australian Democrats Parliamentary Leader

12 March, 1998 MEDIA RELEASE 981158

Why the bias, Minister?

Senator Parer, in his capacity as Minister for Resources and Energy, has demonstrated an inability to identify an apparent conflict of interest, according to the Australian Democrats.

"This Government's predisposition has been to perpetuate Australia's reliance on fossil fuels, said Senator Meg Lees, Democrats Leader.

"This government's decisions have constantly undermined alternate energy technology.

"Senator Parer has consistently and stridently supported the coal industry against all odds, against all international opinion and against the investment Australia must make in a sustainable future."

Senator Lees has called upon Minister Parer to explain how the following actions and statements are not in conflict with his long term interest in the coal industry:

1. The move to lift the export controls on coal as one of his first acts as Minister for Resources 2. Abolishing the ethanol fuel bounty. Ethanol is a renewable resource that would have been a boon to regional areas.

3. Strident suppoii of the discredited MEGABARE and GIGABARE models upon which the Government based its internationally embarrassing greenhouse gas position on. It • was later found that the coal industry was a major fiinder and that the fossil fuel industries paid $50,000 each to be on the Steering Committee. 4. Abolition of the Energy Research and Development Corporation which was developing

renewable energy sources and was in direct conflict with the coal industry. 5. Refusing conservationists a position on his Round Table Working Group on sustainable energies, preferring to stack 10 of the 11 seats with the representatives of the fossil fuel industry.

For further information contact Alan Jenkins on 026 2773203 or John Schumann 0419 867876