13/02/2008 - 15:23

Experts to oversee $36.5m climate change fund for WA

13/02/2008 - 15:23

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The state government has announced the formation of a new Independent Expert Advisory Group to oversee the first round of funding from the $36.5 million Low Emissions Energy Development Fund.

The state government has announced the formation of a new Independent Expert Advisory Group to oversee the first round of funding from the $36.5 million Low Emissions Energy Development Fund.

Environment and climate change minister David Templeman said the LEED Fund was a key initiative of the premier's Climate Change Action Statement.

"The LEED fund will provide vital investment in a clean energy future for Western Australia, and in doing so will help reduce the State's greenhouse gas emissions by 60 per cent by 2050," Mr Templeman said.

The minister said the advisory group would be chaired by Western Australia's chief scientist, professor Lyn Beazley.

"Professor Beazley also chairs the state government's science and innovation advisory body," he said.

"Her expertise and experience will ensure there is a high profile link between science, industry and the state government."

The members of the expert group are:

- Andrew Hall, investment manager at Stone Ridge Ventures, with broad experience in the commercialisation of a variety of low emissions technologies;

- Garry Baverstock, an award-winning expert in the field of ecologically sustainable development and adjunct associate professor in Energy Studies at Murdoch University;

- Dr John Wright, director of the CSIRO Energy Transformed Flagship;

- Martina Calais, a former research engineer on automotive power supplies and university lecturer, who now works on the development of renewable energy projects;

- Alan Pears, adjunct professor at RMIT University and former senior adviser to the Victorian Government on sustainability. He is also the co-director of an environmental consultancy firm; and

- Suzanne Tuite, highly qualified financial management specialist and group manager finance at GRD Minproc.

"The advisory group will be looking at investing in technologies where WA has distinctive natural and competitive advantages such as geothermal, bioenergy and clean coal technologies, as well as renewable energy generation such as wind, wave, tidal and solar power," Mr Templeman said.

The minister said about $8.5 million would be available to suitable projects in 2008-09.

"More than a dozen applications have been received for the first round of funding, which is more than we expected," he said.

"The LEED fund is another example of how the Carpenter Government is making decisions for the future and leading the way in preparing WA to meet the challenges of our changing climate."

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