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NZ Biz Invited To Brisbane For Climate Change Conf

Saturday 28th October 2006

MEDIA RELEASE

Queensland’s Premier Invites New Zealand Business To Brisbane For 3rd Climate Change Conference


Queensland Premier Peter Beattie visited Auckland today and announced Brisbane would host the 3rd Australia-New Zealand Climate Change and Business Conference next year.

Mr Beattie said the Climate Change and Business Conference would bring together some of Australasia’s most prominent business and political leaders to discuss the risks and opportunities facing business as a result of climate change.

He said the Conference would be held in Brisbane on August 30-31, 2007.

“At home in Queensland we are currently suffering from the worst drought on record,” Mr Beattie said.

“It has been dry after dry, year after year, which has led to major storage ‘deficits’ in our dams and water storages which will take well above average rainfall to restore. It has been so dry for so long I think we have all forgotten how much rain we are supposed to get. We are in a new environment never experienced before and climate change is the catalyst.”

Mr Beattie said tackling climate change would be one of the major challenges of the century.

“Our Government is investing more in water than any before us and confronting the challenge of drought and climate change on a number of fronts – a water grid, new dams, weirs, pipelines and other water storages, recycling, desalination, conservation and education,” he said.

“Earlier this year we also established a $1 billion Queensland Future Growth Fund to help the State meet the challenges of climate change and the continued economic development of our State.

“For example as a major coal producer, we have a responsibility as a global citizen to do all we can to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Our Future Growth Fund will provide $300 million to support the continued sustainable development of clean coal technology.”

Mr Beattie said other opportunities presented by climate change include environmental management technologies and services, alternative energy technologies and manufacturing, innovative production practices and technologies for use in traditional and emissions-intensive industries, and the production of biofuels through the use of rural by-products.

The conference will again be carbon neutral and is endorsed and supported by the Environmental Defence Society, the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development, the Pew Center, Point Carbon, The Climate Group;WWF Australia, Australian Business Council for Sustainable Energy and the Australian Industry Group,

Conference Convenor Gary Taylor said the conference would build on the successful Adelaide conference held earlier this year.

“Bringing together business leaders and politicians from both countries to a State at the front line in dealing with the effects of climate change will do more to help turn discussion into action than meeting here in New Zealand so we encourage people to attend.”

‘More and more New Zealand and Australian businesses are finding there is real commercial advantage in being first into the developing markets of South East Asia with cleaner technologies.” Mr Taylor said.

Premier Beattie is on a two-day trip to help boost the strong trade and economic relationship between Queensland and New Zealand.

He is visiting Auckland and Rotorua and holding a number of meetings with key political and business representatives including Prime Minister Helen Clark.

“New Zealand is one of our nearest neighbours in the Asia Pacific region and a valued trading partner,” Mr Beattie said.

“You are our seventh largest export market and our eighth largest source of imports.

“With the support of Prime Minister Clark we have worked together to build a strong relationship and this trip will provide an avenue to explore further shared opportunities.”

ENDS

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