Carbon price funds investment opportunities in Wollongong, while world class researchers help tackle climate change

The Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Mark Dreyfus, has met with the local business community at the University of Wollongong today to discuss Australia’s Clean Energy Future Plan.

Mr Dreyfus outlined the opportunities and support flowing from the carbon price, for businesses – both small and large – at a meeting with Illawarra business groups.

“A broad-based carbon price directly creates incentives for businesses and consumers throughout the economy to reduce dangerous greenhouse gas pollution and save money by using energy more efficiently,” Mr Dreyfus told the business leaders.

“As the economy shifts to cleaner energy over time, the most efficient, least polluting firms will have an advantage over less efficient, higher polluting firms.”

Federal Member for Throsby, Stephen Jones said that the Gillard Government’s plan included generous assistance to help local business make the transition.

“Carbon price revenue will be invested in the Jobs and Competitiveness Program which will provide more than $9 billion of assistance to safeguard jobs in pollution-intensive industries which face international competition,” he said.

“Steel manufacturers, food processors and metal foundries and forgers will be assisted by tailored programs worth $500 million, while an $800 million grants program will help manufacturers invest in low pollution technologies,” said Federal Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird.

Mr Dreyfus highlighted the contribution of small business to the Australian economy, and told the meeting an increase in the small business instant asset write-off threshold – to $6,500 – would free up cash flow and allow small businesses to invest in new assets, including those that improved energy efficiency.

Mr Dreyfus also took the opportunity to tour the University campus, visiting a team of researchers working to manufacture a new greenhouse gas analyser for global markets.

“Our world class researchers and universities are also playing a major role in tackling climate change. New technology, like the Spectronus analyser that measures a range of greenhouse gases simultaneously, will ensure Australian research is at the forefront of clean tech innovation as the world moves to a cleaner energy future.”