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Woolongong leading the way in clean, green energy

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Media Releases and Speeches

Media Release Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP Federal Member for Murray Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage

7 February 2001

Wollongong leading the way in clean, green energy 8,000 Wollongong homes could be running on waste-generated energy in the near future.

Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, today congratulated Brightstar Environmental for their innovation in developing the Solid Waste and Energy Recycling Facility (SWERF) at Whyte's Gully near Wollongong.

"The SWERF project is a great example of Australian innovation," Sharman Stone said, speaking at a ceremony to launch the new facility at the Whyte's Gully site today.

"The $2 million in Federal Government funding through the Australian Greenhouse Office's Renewable Energy Showcase Program has supported this important new waste-to-energy technology that will generate enough renewable electricity to power 8,000 Wollongong homes".

"Renewable energy is a central plank of the Commonwealth's climate change policy and this new world-first waste processing technology will help show the way in Australia's new renewable energy industry".

"Human induced climate change means we must reduce our generation of energy that releases harmful greenhouse gases in the process".

"SWERF is an excellent example of how government and industry is working together to meet the challenge of climate change. Instead of using methane gas from landfill to provide raw energy, SWERF generates its own cleaner gas, directly from municipal solid waste (your rubbish) - so you don't need land fills".

The Commonwealth has committed over $380 million to developing and supporting Australia's renewable energy industry.

"The new Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 will assist projects like SWERF to establish a market for renewable energy in Australia," Sharman Stone said.

"Under the measure, wholesale energy purchasers will have to purchase increasing amounts of electricity

from renewable sources, which is great news for companies like Brightstar Environmental".

The new legislation will see Australia source an additional 9,500 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity from renewable sources by 2010 - which is enough new renewable energy to power 4 million homes.

The new Act will not only ensure a strong market for renewable energy in Australia, it also has the potential to reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by up to 7 million tonnes by 2010.

For further information please contact: Simon Frost 0419 495 468 or 02 6277 2016 February 7th, 2001