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Monday, 7 March 2005
Page: 162

Senator Allison asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice, on 16 November 2004:

(1)   Did the Prime Minister receive a letter dated 18 May 2004 from Federation Fellowship holders recommending that the Government include in its Energy White Paper the following fundamental policy principles: (a) raising subsidies for the installation of photovoltaics or solar hot water systems; and (b) actively stimulating both fundamental research and the commercialisation of renewable energy products.

(2)   Given that the Federation Fellows are recognised as being at the forefront expertise in scientific research, what steps did the Prime Minister take to ensure the Fellows’ recommendations were taken into account in the development of the Energy White Paper.

Senator Hill (Minister for Defence) —The Prime Minister has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   A large number of submissions to government were made in the lead up to the Energy White Paper raising a range of issues. The government took these into account in developing the policy approach outlined in ‘Securing Australia’s Energy Future’. The Energy White Paper strategy is focused on promoting commercialisation and demonstration of renewables and other low emission technologies and addressing specific barriers to the uptake of renewables in the market.

The Energy White Paper contains a number of measures aimed at increasing the development of renewable energy technologies such as: $100 million for commercialisation and development of renewable energy technologies; $34 million to address specific barriers impeding the uptake of renewable energy; and $75 million for the Solar Cities trials which will demonstrate the potential that solar electricity can play in helping to meet Australia’s future energy needs. The $500 million Low Emission Technology Fund will support industry-led projects that demonstrate low emission technology, including renewable technologies that can make a significant difference to Australia’s greenhouse gas signature in the longer term.