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CCS legislation open for public consultation.



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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism

CCS LEGISLATION OPEN FOR PUBLIC CONSULTATION The Minister for Resources and Energy, the Hon Martin Ferguson MP, today announces the Australian Government has released draft legislation for consultation which will establish the world’s first framework for carbon dioxide capture and geological storage (CCS).

Minister Ferguson said: "The draft legislation has been referred to the House of Representatives Primary Industries and Resources Committee which will oversee a comprehensive review prior to the Bill’s introduction to Parliament later this year.

"With 83 per cent of Australia's electricity generated from coal, no serious response to climate change can ignore the need to clean up coal and the Government's establishment of a CCS framework represents a major step towards making clean coal a reality.

“CCS is essential for the long-term sustainability of coal-fired power generation and the potential of new industries such as coal-to-liquids, which could improve Australia’s liquid transport fuel security," Minister Ferguson said.

CCS involves capturing greenhouse gas emissions, predominantly from coal-fired power stations, before they are released into the atmosphere. The gas is then injected and stored deep under the ground in geological formations similar to those which have stored oil and gas for millions of years.

The CCS legislation establishes access and property rights for the injection and storage of greenhouse gases into a stable subsurface geological reservoir in Commonwealth waters (more than three nautical miles offshore).

Minister Ferguson said: "The legislation provides for appropriate consultation and multiple use rights with other marine users, including the fishing and petroleum industries, and ensures pre-existing property and use rights are properly preserved.

"Australia has the capacity to inject and store a significant amount of its carbon emissions in these reservoirs and my Department, through Geoscience Australia, is assessing numerous sites for geological storage.

"The work of Geoscience Australia, along with the Australian Government's support of CCS research through the CO2CRC, one of the world’s leading collaborative research organisations focused on CCS, puts Australia at the forefront of this pioneering technology."

Minister Ferguson will today visit the Latrobe Valley's Loy Yang Power.

"The success of CCS technology will guarantee the long-term future of the Latrobe Valley's power industry and the job security for power industry workers.

The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

The H

on Martin Ferguson AM MP

17 May 2008

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"Clean coal technology holds the promise of Victoria joining the ranks of Australia’s coal exporting states and this would potentially deliver a brand new industry and thousands of jobs throughout Victoria," Minister Ferguson said.

"Latrobe Valley brown coal power is a significant contributor to Australia's energy market so we see it as a priority to achieve large emission reductions quickly.

"Recent research from the CO2CRC found most of the existing high carbon emission areas, such as the Latrobe Valley in Victoria, the Burrup Peninsula in Western Australia, southeast Queensland and Gladstone-Rockhampton in north Queensland, have adequate storage capacity located nearby, making CCS a viable option in areas where major greenhouse intensive developments are situated or in development.

“This legislation will create an environment in which industry can invest in CCS projects with confidence and will encourage the commercialisation of technologies which have the potential to play a vital role in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions in the future.”

The draft legislation can be downloaded from www.ret.gov.au.

For further information email CCS@ret.gov.au. For further information on the Committee, email pir.reps@aph.gov.au.

Media contact: Michael Bradley - 0420 37 17 44

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