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Tuesday, 27 November 1973
Page: 2107

Senator POYSER - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Conservation. I refer the Minister to an address delivered to the International Solar Energy Society in Melbourne last week by Mr R. N. Morse, Director of Solar Studies of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, in which Mr Morse is reported to have called for the expenditure of $40 billion on the development of solar energy in Australia. Will the Minister advise the Senate whether he is in agreement with this proposal? If so will he advise the extent to which the Department of the Environment and Conservation has investigated the economics and environmental advisability of adopting the use of solar energy in this country?

Senator CAVANAGH -The Minister for the Environment and Conservation is on record as having expressed already his interest in the large scale use of solar energy in Australia as an alternative source of power. Solar energy appears to be pollution free and is in vast supply. It is noted that the money spent on solar energy investigation in Australia is insignificant in comparison with the money spent on the investigation of other energy sources such as nuclear power. Because of this the Government could, perhaps, support making some change in the priority of expenditure of money on future power resources. The Minister for the Environment and Conservation has recently engaged a consultant to advise him on the future uses and development of solar energy. The consultant's report is expected soon and it is expected to pinpoint where money should be spent on necessary research into solar energy.

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