11/02/2009 - 14:56

Hand out $9m in grants: MacTiernan urges

11/02/2009 - 14:56

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The state opposition has urged the government to make haste with the awarding of over $9 million of grants to developers of innovative energy technologies.

The state opposition has urged the government to make haste with the awarding of over $9 million of grants to developers of innovative energy technologies.

Shadow Minister for Climate Change Alannah MacTiernan has called on the Barnett government to announce the successful recipients for the second round of the Low Emissions Energy Development (LEED).

"These funding grants were due to be finalised and announced by the end of 2008 but there is still no word of the successful projects," Ms MacTiernan said.

"Western Australia is vying with other states, especially Victoria, to host the nation's first commercial wave power plant and we risk missing this opportunity if the State does not act quickly."

The previous Labor government established the LEED fund in 2007 to provide annual funding to support the development of emerging energy technologies.

Ms MacTiernan said the Labor government supported an 18-month wave power trial at Rous Head in 2005-2006, structured the renewable energy supply contact for the second desalination plant to encourage emerging technologies and provided a seabed lease in waters off Albany for the development of a commercial scale plant.

"Wave power is an exciting technology which is well suited to the South West coast because of the strength and reliability of the wave resource," Ms MacTiernan said.

"This plant will not get underway without financial assistance - it's precisely the sought of project that the LEED fund was set up to assist.

"We have laid a strong foundation for the development of wave power and sustainable energy technologies and the Government must move quickly to ensure this hard work does not go to waste.

"It is also time for the Minister to make clear whether the funding for future LEED funding rounds has survived the budget cuts.

"Climate change initiatives can no longer be put on the back burner by conservative governments."

Last week, Ms MacTiernan suggested a wave energy plant, among other ideas, would be more beneficial to residents of Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun who are still reeling from news that BHP Billiton will close its nickel operation, resulting in the loss of over 1500 jobs.

The ogvernmetn has committed $60 million to seal a road through the Fitzgerald National Park in a bid to attract tourists to the area.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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