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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Mines and Energy
    The Honourable Geoff Wilson

    First geothermal permit issued in Queensland

    Minister for Mines and Energy
    The Honourable Geoff Wilson

    Thursday, May 01, 2008

    First geothermal permit issued in Queensland

    The first Exploration Permit for geothermal energy exploration in Queensland has been issued, Mines and Energy Minister Geoff Wilson said.

    Mr Wilson told State Parliament today the permit had been issued to NSW company Granite Power Ltd.

    Two other companies, Kuth Exploration Pty Ltd and Clean Energy Australasia Pty Ltd, had commenced the native title process, the final step before the granting of their exploration permits.

    Mr Wilson said in total there were nine tenement areas, located across Queensland.

    “Queensland has the potential to be a world leader in geothermal energy and the Bligh Government is backing this clean, green energy industry to the hilt,” Mr Wilson said.

    “The granting of this Exploration Permit is a significant milestone in the development of geothermal energy industry in Queensland.”

    Preferred tenderers for the third round of geothermal permit tenders will be announced shortly.

    Mr Wilson said there had been an amount of uncertainty with some explorers in the application of the Commonwealth Native Title Act to geothermal exploration.

    “There has been some question as to whether the definition of ‘mining’ in the Commonwealth Act includes geothermal exploration,” he said.

    “However, our new Queensland Premier has raised the issue very early with our new Labor Prime Minister, to get a national solution to this problem.

    “I have also made representations to my Federal counterpart, and we have continued our lobbying. I’m confident the Bligh Government’s efforts will bear fruit.”

    Mr Wilson said the Government support for geothermal energy went beyond lobbying.

    “Queensland was the first state to pass a Geothermal Exploration Act and we’re working on a new Geothermal Act to provide for world’s best practice in geothermal energy production.

    “Planning is underway for coastal geothermal exploration near major population and industry centres and we’ve also invested $15 million in the Geothermal Centre of Excellence.

    “The Bligh Government has one single, undiluted goal in all of this: to maximise exploration and development of geothermal energy in Queensland.”

    Mr Wilson said in contrast, today marked 69 days since the Opposition Leader promised a renewable energy policy and was yet to deliver.

    “The Opposition Leader has an opinion on everything and a solution for nothing.

    “In contrast, the Bligh Government is getting on with the job of delivering renewable energy solutions for Queensland.”

    Media inquiries: Caroline Kaurila 3224 7332.