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Australian govt targets renewable energy industry

The Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Robert Hill, and the Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Senator Nick Minchin, launched a strategic policy framework this week that aims to achieve a sustainable and internationally competitive renewable energy industry with annual sales of $4 billion by the year 2010.

"New Era - New Energy" is the latest in a series of industry development strategies developed under the Government's Action Agenda initiative which has seen the Government work with various industries to develop roadmaps to future growth.

"Designed to underpin a new era for Australia's renewable energy industry, this Action Agenda has established five key strategies to achieve the industry's vision; market development, building community commitment, building industry capability, establishing the policy framework and encouraging a culture of innovation," Senator Minchin said.

"This Action Agenda will improve the industry's capacity to deliver jobs, exports and economic diversification for regional areas, and to provide greenhouse gas abatement in the longer term."

Senator Hill said the Action Agenda supported the Government's environment and industry development goals.

"This shows a clear recognition that the Commonwealth's greenhouse response policies will not only ensure better environmental outcomes, they also represent significant market drivers for the industry," Senator Hill said.

Regional President of BP Amoco and Chairman of the Industry Leadership Group, Mr Greg Bourne has welcomed the development of this Action Agenda.

"Globally, the renewable energy industry is destined to grow rapidly over the next decade. This Action Agenda lays the foundation for the industry to capture a substantial share of this growth and to punch above its weight.

"A clear message from the Action Agenda is for industry to focus its efforts on providing clean, reliable and low cost energy solutions that meets customer needs," said Mr Bourne.

Complementing the Action Agenda is a $387 million package of Commonwealth Government assistance to support the growth of the industry.

It is anticipated that the $6 million industry development component of the Renewable Energy Commercialisation Program will be an important vehicle for Commonwealth Government funding of several of the Action Agenda initiatives.

The full report of the Renewable Energy Action Agenda is available on the Industry, Science and Resources website: www.isr.gov.au/agendas

Contact:
Steve Ronson, Senator Minchin's office, 02 6277 7580
Rod Bruem, Senator Hill's office, 02 6277 7640
CMR265-00

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