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Second Generation Biofuels Research and Development Program launch: speech.

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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism


E & OE

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.

Thank you very much for inviting me here today.

As the innovators and leaders driving the development of Biofuels in Australia, you - of course - know the potential this technology holds.

But today, I would like to take this opportunity to let you know that as Minister for Resources and Energy, I also understand the importance of the work you do.

The Australian Government recognises this sector's potential for growth and the Government is committed to accelerating progress in second generation biofuel development.

This year's Budget included $500 million for a Renewable Energy Fund, which is administered by my Department.

This Fund will support the research, development, demonstration, and adoption of renewable energy technologies in Australia.

It contains $15 million dollars specifically for biofuel development and it gives me great pleasure to today launch the Second Generation Biofuels Research and Development Program.

This important program will offer grants ranging from $1 million to $5 million for research, development, and demonstration projects.

It will support the already significant efforts of industry, matching their funding dollar for dollar.

Second generation biofuels have the potential to take the conflict out of the food versus fuel debate.

Developing commercially-viable second generation technology will increase the sustainability of biofuel use.

Importantly they provide a potential opportunity to diversify liquid fuel supply sources at a time when the world’s oil is increasingly sourced from unstable parts of the globe.

It is therefore essential that grant funding is allocated to projects - and to a sector - that is sustainable

The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

The H

on Martin Ferguson AM MP

24 Oct 2008

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in the long-term.

Only in this way can we address the criticisms which are often levelled against the biofuels sector.

Which is why projects funded through this new program, will focus on the development of biofuel technology using non-food materials.

We do not want biofuels to compete with the traditional agricultural industry for land and resources.

We want Australia's alternate fuels sector to help reduce costs throughout our economy - not increase them.

In closing - can I encourage you all, whether from industry, research institutions, or business, to apply for the grants being made available today.

The Australian Government wants to support our best ideas and we hope this funding will provide a significant boost to the development of next generation biofuels technologies.

I should also take this opportunity to highlight that this Program will look to support projects which promote cooperation between businesses, industry and research institutions.

We want this Program to encourage increased knowledge sharing and skills development.

And I am aware of the many exciting research projects already underway - including those being undertaken here at Flinders University and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Flinders for their substantial assistance in this launch.

The Gen 2 Grants Program will take applications from now until 30 January 2009. Further information on the program - including how to apply - will

be available on my department's website.

I would once again like to encourage all interested parties to apply.

Thank you all for attending today.

The Australian Government wishes you every success.

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