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Rudd's clean coal commitment faces its biggest test.

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Ian Macfarlane MP Shadow Minister for Energy & Resources Federal Member for Groom

MEDIA INQUIRIES: KYLIE BARRON 0413 229 957 07 4632 4144 -

House of Representatives Parliament of Australia

23 April 2009 Ref:01009


Prime Minister Kevin Rudd must step in to save Australia’s only commercial clean coal demonstration plant from being closed down, or have his Government’s claims to be a supporter of clean coal technology exposed as a sham, Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources Ian Macfarlane said.

“As the debt-ridden Queensland Government prepares to wash its hands of ZeroGen, the Prime Minister’s proclaimed devotion to clean coal is facing the real test.

“If Mr Rudd allows ZeroGen to collapse he will set back the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS), a technology on which he has repeatedly pinned Australia’s ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions without compromising our standard of living.

“In 2007 Mr Rudd visited ZeroGen’s Central Queensland site and made several public statements of support for the technology.”

‘If we’re going to be serious about clean coal technology in the future, the Australian Government must roll up its sleeves and invest in the future of clean coal.’ (Kevin Rudd doorstop, 12 March 2007)

‘In recent times I visited the ZeroGen Plant which is proposed to be under construction at Stanwell. We think that’s the right way to go, that’s going to be a significant project and their objective is to deliver clean coal generated electricity into the grid by 2012. For Australia and the future of our coal industry, getting this right is critical’ (Kevin Rudd, joint doorstop with Peter Garrett, Blackwater Coal Mine, 2 April 2007)

“And as recently as last week Mr Rudd was spruiking his Government’s commitment to clean coal at the launch of the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“Yet the Rudd Government’s refusal to allocate zero-cost emissions to emerging technologies like CCS under its flawed Emissions Trading Scheme has already compromised ZeroGen’s future.

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Media release from the Hon. Ian Macfarlane MP — Member for Groom Page 2

“While Mr Rudd may be happy to talk up his Government’s commitment to clean coal so long as it generates publicity, real progress on this technology will only be achieved through a strong financial commitment to CCS.

“Symbolic gestures aren’t enough.

“The Rudd Government must get serious about clean coal. It should be investing in several clean coal projects and at the very least ensuring the world’s only commercial CCS demonstration project continues to operate.

“If Mr Rudd fails to do so he will put the jobs of thousands of miners in the thermal coal industry at risk and will undermine Australia’s ability to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions while keeping the lights on in homes and businesses.”