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Greenhouse Office opposed Stuart shale oil decision.

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KELVIN THOMSONMedia Release from the Shadow Minister for Environment & Heritage GREENHOUSE OFFICE OPPOSED STUART SHALE OIL DECISION

A leaked report revealed by Labor during Senate Budget Estimates today shows that the Australian Greenhouse Office opposed the Howard Government’s recent decision to give up to $36m per annum subsidy to the Stuart Shale Oil Project.

The Greenhouse Office told the Government that the company had not been able to demonstrate that the environmental impacts from the proposed plant were at acceptable levels.

The Greenhouse Office said the project would lead to significant additional greenhouse emissions. It estimated total emissions for Stage 2 of the project at around the equivalent of 1.6 million tonnes per annum of carbon dioxide, with potential emissions from Stage 3 at about 6.9 million tonnes per annum. “Taken together these represent about 2.25% of Australia’s 1990 emissions”.

In the wake of this revelation, the Federal Government must provide evidence that the Stuart Shale Oil Project meets the highest possible environmental and health standards now and in the future.

It must ensure that Southern Pacific Petroleum demonstrates modifications to Stage 1 of the project will address the range of environmental and health concerns raised by various groups, including residents and local Councils.

The environmental and health concerns surrounding Stage 1 of the project should be addressed. The project should be assessed broadly, from an economic, social and environmental perspective to ensure it is sustainable in the long term.

The Government must also advise what action, if any, it took concerning the Greenhouse Office’s further recommendation that, if Cabinet agreed to provide a significant grant to the project, the company be required to pursue mitigation and/or offsets to ensure that greenhouse emissions from Stages 2 and any subsequent stages are equivalent to no more than 20kg carbon per barrel.

A copy of the leaked document is available on request.

For Further Information: Kelvin Thomson MP Phone: 02 6277 4633 Mobile: 0419 594882 Gavan O’Neill Phone: 02 6277 4633 Mobile: 0417 118146

Thursday, 30 May 2002