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Govt pays $75m to green factories

Small- and medium-sized automation, process and control manufacturers will be given grants of up to $500,000 as part of the government’s ‘Re-tooling for Climate Change’ program that aims to tackle the effects of climate change.

Manufacturers could be given anywhere from $10,000 to $500,000 by the government to help them reduce the environmental impact of their production processes.

The program will cost the Rudd government $75 million, however the minister for innovation, industry, science and research, Kim Carr, said it would ultimately benefit both the environment and the small manufacturer.

“This program is part of the Rudd Government’s commitment to work in partnership with industry to reduce Australia’s carbon footprint,” Carr said.

“Re-tooling will have a dual benefit of tackling climate change and putting manufacturing businesses on a more sustainable footing. It is about better outcomes for the environment and greater efficiencies for our manufacturers, who must be part of our low-carbon future.

“Australian manufacturers are already responding to climate change by reducing their energy consumption while continuing to increase production and exports. This program will accelerate these efforts.”

Grants will meet up to one-third of the costs of projects to improve energy or water efficiency of manufacturing business’s production processes.

Support will be provided for initiatives such as:

• small-scale cogeneration plants that capture waste energy and use it to produce electricity on site;

• stormwater capture and improved water recycling, for use in the production process;

• improving insulation and recovering waste heat to improve manufacturing process efficiency;

• and process re-engineering involving the adoption of energy efficient manufacturing tools.

Over the past week, seminars have been held in capital cities to introduce the program, with over 300 people attending already.

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