The Age from Melbourne, Victoria, Victoria, Australia on October 8, 1997 · Page 7
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The Age from Melbourne, Victoria, Victoria, Australia · Page 7

Melbourne, Victoria, Victoria, Australia
Issue Date:
Wednesday, October 8, 1997
Page 7
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WEDNESDAY 8 OCTOBER 1997 THE AGE A 7 Greens offer gas reduction ideas By TIM WINKLER, environment reporter . Reducing greenhouse gas emissions would protect jobs and save Australia from environmental and economic peril, a green group said yesterday. The Australian Conservation Foundation released a 15-point plan promoting alternative energy, public transport and controls on vegetation clearance. It said the plan would easily enable the Federal Government to meet European demands for greenhouse gas reduction. The foundation's executive director, Mr lim Downey, said a carbon tax of 0.4 cents a litre on petrol would raise about $650 million annually, which would pay for its proposed changes. "This research shows that if the Federal Government shows vision, it alone can take steps in the right direction," Mr Downey said. The plan offers ways to reduce emissions from motor vehicles, electricity generation and vegetation clearance, which contribute about 62 per cent of Australia's total greenhouse emissions. The report says that electricity use could be reduced cost-effectively by encouraging alternative energy use' or more energy-efficient industrial and domestic appliances. The Government needed to lower costs for small producers providing energy to the main power grid, particularly alternative energy producers. Solar, wind and hydro power M$jot tourcts ot Auttrallm gnonhouM gat emluhnt contribution Land clearing Electricity generation Motor vehicle i '" - $ Source: ACF v 20 Federal Government witholds money from states unless tight controls placed on clearing V 30 Improve access of alternative energy generators to power grid; promote solarwindhydro energy 12 Carbon tax of about 0.4 cents a litre on petrol to raise $650 million - to promote alternative energy. Improve public transport. mv))m industries had grown during the recession and encouragement of these industries would pay off, the report said. About $250 million needed to be spent improving public transport and about $7 million on implementing the national bicycle strategy. Sales tax needed to be lowered or abolished on fuel-efficient vehicles, and heavy sales tax applied to petrol "guzzlers". Vegetation clearance needed to be reduced by allocating natural heritage funds to states, contingent upon the imposition of strict clearing controls. The plan follows recent criticism of Australian greenhouse policy by a former German government greenhouse adviser. Speaking at a Melbourne University conference last week, Dr Joachim Spangenberg said investment banks in Europe had already started telling investors to sell off shares in German brown-coal mining firms because of expectations that the Kyoto summit would reduce demand for the product. If the rest of the world decided to reduce greenhouse emissions, Australia's coal market would suffer, whether Australia decided to join in or not, Dr Spangenberg said. The foundation's plan has been submitted to the Federal Government. PAGE A12: US backs cuts. Buy smart on energy, says panel Consumers could have a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions simply by selecting energy-efficient appliances, Energy Victoria said yesterday. If existing buyers of new or replacement appliances selected five or six-star energy rated products, Australians would ' save about $38 million in energy costs and emissions would be lowered by 268,000 tonnes, a spokesman for the State Government authority, Mr Warren Edwards said. Each year the Government recognises energy-efficient appliances with the national Galaxy Energy Awards and Mr Edwards said consumers would not need to buy extra appliances to save energy. A recent study by Energy Victoria found that 90 per cent of consumers thought it was important to help the environment by conserving energy and reducing greenhouse emissions. In a positive sign, 93 per cent of consumers said low running costs and energy efficiency were important factors when choosing an appliance. The new figures indicated consumers could make a real difference, Mr Edwards said. Tim Winkler '; fx . n m Youth, 16, charged with murder of Japanese tourist By GREG ROBERTS and RUSSELL SKELTON A 16-year-old youth will appear in Cairns Children's Court today after being charged last night with the murder of a Japanese tourist, Ms Michiko Okuyama. The youth was detained earlier yesterday after a police raid on premises in central Cairns, where evidence of a violent attack, including bloodstains, was found. Police believe Ms Okuyama, 22, from Yokohama, was murdered at the site before her body was dumped at a swamp in Manduna, a nearby suburb. Ms Okuyama, who had come to Cairns on a 12-month working visa to upgrade her diving qualifications, disappeared on 20 September, six days after her arrival. Her naked body was found in the swamp on Saturday, covered with soil and pandanus fronds. The cause of death was later revealed as blood inhalation and facial fractures, indicating that she had been beaten. Police told a media confer ence, attended by large numbers of Japanese journalists, that the youth was apprehended after reports from people that they had seen a young person pushing a wheelie bin near where Ms Okuyama's body was found. The new Federal Tourism Minister, Mr Andrew Thomson, flew to Cairns yesterday in an effort to limit damage to the tourist trade. Mr Thomson, who speaks Japanese, gave interviews to Japanese journalists in their language, and urged them not to overreact to the murder. The Japanese media has reported extensively on Ms Okuyama's disappearance. One report in the Sankei newspaper claimed that Australian yobbos were sexually harassing Japanese women tourists in Cairns. The paper quoted a Japanese resident saying Japanese women' were frequently approached by local men who boasted that they were easy targets, compliant and easily led. It also said the murder had caused deep unease in the Japanese community in Australia. a limy1 Mi rt iiili a M'ttffi ith m Ax Beaten to death: The body of Japanese tourist Michiko Okuyama, who came to Australia to upgrade her diving qualifications, was found at a Cairns swamp on Saturday. The Sankei carried claims of Mr Thomson spoke in English harassment by "yobbos". and Japanese to reporters. 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