Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Warren Entsch MP today officially launched the 5th International Conference on the Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies in Cairns, saying the Government is committed to meeting its greenhouse obligations while continuing to protect jobs and economic growth.
Mr Entsch said despite public perceptions that economic growth and industrial development were bad news in terms of tackling greenhouse gas problems, the two sides weren't necessarily diametrically opposed.
"Economic prosperity allows business to reinvest in new technology, and in doing so deliver better environmental outcomes," Mr Entsch said.
"This is an important fact for greenhouse policy makers to consider. To quote my colleague, Federal Environment Minister Senator Robert Hill: 'Industry is more likely to play its part constructively (in meeting greenhouse challenges) if it sees that the actions we are taking are not a threat to their competitiveness or ability to grow'."
Mr Entsch said the Government was committed to meeting Australia's obligations under the Kyoto Protocol, and had invested almost $1 billion in action programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"This includes programs for vehicle conversion subsides; grants for the installation of solar power systems in households; green power investment; remote power generation; and - significantly - the Greenhouse Gas Abatement Program," Mr Entsch told the conference.
He said the $400 million Greenhouse Gas Abatement Program aims to deliver cost-effective and large-scale abatement across all sectors of the economy, particularly in the commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol (2008-2012).
Many of the Government's policies and programs to reduce greenhouse emissions will by their nature, stimulate technological improvement.
Complementing this, the Government has also made a commitment to work with the States and industry to develop and implement by the end of this year, efficiency standards for fossil fuel electricity generation.
Mr Entsch said that Australia's commitment to meeting the greenhouse gas challenge began at "the highest levels of government and is being encouraged and implemented throughout Australia".
The 5th Conference on the Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies in Cairns is the first time the international conference is being held in the southern hemisphere.
The Australian Greenhouse Office website is located at www.greenhouse.gov.au
Further enquiries can be made via www.australia.org.nz