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Coalition spending on renewable energy research and development more than double last year of labor.



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Media Releases

Senator the Hon Warwick Parer,

Minister for Resources and Energy

 

DPIE 98/300P

 

6 April 1998

 

COALITION SPENDING ON RENEWABLE ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT MORE THAN DOUBLE LAST YEAR OF LABOR

 

Government spending on renewable energy R& D within the next financial year will be more than twice that of Labor in its last year in office, Federal Minister for Resources and Energy, Senator Warwick Parer said today.

 

Answering a question in the Senate from Senator Sandy Macdonald, Senator Parer said that funding for renewable energy research and development in Labor's last Budget was estimated at $7.5 million.

 

"In 1998/99, the first year of the Prime Minister's climate change package, Commonwealth funding of renewable energy R&D is estimated at $16 million," Senator Parer said. "This represents a massive increase in support for renewable energy R&D and includes measures not even contemplated by Labor.

 

"It is little wonder that Labor now has nothing to say about renewable energy. Labor failed to produce an integrated renewables strategy in Government and, as in so many other areas, it has done nothing in Opposition."

 

Senator Parer said the Coalition Government was committed to encouraging an expanded, commercially viable, renewables industry.

 

"In November 1997, as part of $180 million, five­year program, the Prime Minister announced a major new package of measures to encourage innovation in the renewable energy sector," he said. "These measures include:

 

* $21 million for a renewable energy innov ation investment fund, on a 2:1 funding basis with industry;

* $30 million worth of concessional loans and grants for development and commercialisation of strategically important renewable energy technologies - this represents a huge increase on the $4.8 million over four years spent by Labor; and

* $10 million for a showcase fund to support leading edge renewable energy projects in areas such as tidal power, solar thermal power and photovoltaics;

 

"This is an action-oriented program for the renewable en ergy sector which goes much further than simply encouraging research.

 

"It will stimulate innovative technologies and wealth creating businesses. It will provide many new real jobs for Australians and new export industries to help address Labor's legacy of foreign debt."

 

Further information:

Senator Parer's office

Bob Baudino (02) 6277 7440