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    Premier
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    BLIGH GOVERNMENT TO ESTABLISH NEW OFFICE OF CLEAN ENERGY

    Premier
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Friday, October 03, 2008

    BLIGH GOVERNMENT TO ESTABLISH NEW OFFICE OF CLEAN ENERGY

    The Bligh Government will set up a new Office of Clean Energy to explore renewable energy and other methods for reducing the State’s carbon footprint.

    Premier Anna Bligh, speaking in a keynote address to the Queensland Media Club, said the new office was part of her plan to diversify and expand the State’s industrial and economic base.

    “Renewable energies are the goldfields of the 21st century,” Ms Bligh said.

    “Above us we have the unlimited power of the sun and beneath us we have vast untapped resources of geo-thermal power.

    “Our geography puts Queensland in a unique position to potentially reap a multi-billion windfall from these resources as well make a real dent in addressing the dangers climate change.

    “New jobs, new industries and new opportunities for economic growth.”

    Ms Bligh said the Office of Clean Energy to be located in the Department of Mines and Energy, would bring together the work already being done across Government and target specific areas for growth.

    She said it would report directly to the Minister for Mines and Energy as well provide regular progress reports to Cabinet.

    “The Rudd Government have set a mandatory renewable energy target that will see 20% of energy sourced from renewables by 2020,” she said.

    “That is huge incentive to fast track the development of our renewables industry so we can meet our own obligations as well as capitalize on demand from other States and territories.”

    Ms Bligh said specifically wanted the new Office of Clean Energy to look at:

    • Mapping, identifying and sourcing potential renewable energy locations around the State;

    • Removing regulatory barriers preventing renewable energy industry development;

    • Developing a Government funding program to encourage private sector investment and start-up in the industry.

    • Working with the Commonwealth Government on the design of the mandatory renewable energy target scheme to ensure a fair deal for Queensland; and

    • Working with electricity providers to stimulate greater demand from renewable energy sources.

    Ms Bligh said her Government was already undertaking a lot of work in alternative energy sources through ClimateSmart 2050.

    “We set up the $50 million Renewable Energy Fund, the $50 million Smart Energy Savings Fund and other initiatives such as the Clean Coal Council,” she said.

    “And through these programs we are under taking work such as developing the world’s first Solargas demonstration project, creating a solar map to geographically pinpoint our best areas of solar potential and establishing a Geothermal Energy Centre of Excellence.

    “We are building a ground-breaking Solar Thermal Power Station in Cloncurry and in addition we have our Solar Schools Project which will install solar panels and other energy efficiency measures in all Queensland state schools over the next three years.

    “However, given global concerns over climate change and demand for cleaner, greener energy, the potential for exponential growth in these areas is enormous.

    3 October, 2008

    Media contact: Premiers Office (07) 3224 4500