The Honourable Anna Bligh
Bligh boosts Qld fight on climate change
The Honourable Anna Bligh
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Bligh boosts Qld fight on climate changePremier Anna Bligh today announced two new initiatives in Queensland’s fight against climate change, including a pilot program to deliver zero emission solar energy to 1,000 households in regional Queensland
The announcement follows the inaugural meeting of the Premier’s Council on Climate Change, addressed by one of Australia’s greatest scientific minds, Dr Tim Flannery.
Ms Bligh said the Council discussed Queensland’s particular vulnerability to climate change and the opportunities the State has to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions
“Climate change is no longer a foreign scientific term – it is a reality that Queenslanders are living with every day,” Ms Bligh said.
“The longest drought in history and the more recent devastating flooding in regional Queensland show what we can expect from dangerous climate change.
“This generation has an obligation to the next to tackle climate change, and innovation is the key to achieving this.
“Today, I am launching two new initiatives designed to further improve our efforts in addressing climate change:
1. All relevant Cabinet proposals will now include an assessment of climate change impacts for Cabinet’s consideration.
“This means any proposals involving potential increases in greenhouse gas emissions - or projects that may be affected by climate change impacts such as sea level rise - must include an assessment of these issues for consideration by Cabinet.”
“This sends a clear message to Government Departments that climate change impacts are an important consideration and will ensure Cabinet can take any impacts into account in their decision making.
“It is time for whole-of-Government to consider climate impacts in their day-to-day business.”
2. A pilot program to reduce the cost to 1,000 households installing a solar power energy system.
“The Government will bulk purchase 1,000 solar power energy systems to make the green, renewable energy source a viable option for Queensland families.
“Even with the current rebates currently offered by the Federal Government, Queensland families still face an out-of-pocket expense of between $4,500-$5,000 to install a 1kW system.
“Our aim with this scheme is to drive that out-of-pocket expense down to around $1,000-$1,500, making the solar choice a much more viable one.”
Minister for Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation, Andrew McNamara said Queensland was currently a low-user of solar power compared with other states.
“As at September last year, only 446 Queensland homes were using grid-connected solar power systems, compared with 2,045 in South Australia, 1,166 in Victoria and 1,007 in New South Wales,” Mr McNamara said.
“This initiative will take what is a boutique industry in Queensland to new heights and create a new wave of green collar jobs.”
“To provide certainty to tendering suppliers, the pilot program will initially include south-east Queensland, Cairns, Rockhampton, Fraser Coast and Toowoomba - however if successful we will look at extending it statewide.
“The Government will begin the tendering process as soon as it receives 1,000 expressions of interest from Queensland households.
The Queensland Solar Homes scheme will involve a maximum commitment by the Government of $10 million and will be the largest scheme of its kind in the country.
“This will make solar energy a much more viable alternative for Queensland families, reducing their power use by at least 25 percent.
“Based on Queenslander’s demonstrated willingness to ‘go green’, we are expecting a positive response to the program, however any residual units that are not taken up by households will be fitted to public buildings, such as schools,” he said.
The Queensland Solar Homes Program will be funded by the Government’s $430 million Queensland Climate Change Fund.
For more information, or to register interest in being involved in the program, phone 1300 369 388 (8am-6pm Mon-Fri). Details will also be available on-line at www.epa.qld.gov.au by the end of the week.
Media: 3224 4500 (Premier’s office) or 3336 8004 (Minister McNamara’s office)