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Ruddock launches renewable energy project

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on May 22th, 2002.

The Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister says a $24 million renewable energy project launched in Alice Springs today will significantly improve the quality of life in remote indigenous communities.

The Bushlight project will provide renewable energy such as solar power to about 200 remote communities in the Northern Territory, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia.

Philip Ruddock says it allows communities to make their own decisions about what level of infrastructure they require.

"Everybody is entitled in Australia to a reasonable standard of living and when you're in remote areas you're not going to be on an electricity grid getting access to a fridge, a stove, being able to connect up your telephone, being able to hitch up to the Internet," Mr Ruddock said.

"All the sorts of things that are taken for granted elsewhere in Australia aren't always available."

ATSIC's Southern Zone Commissioner Alison Anderson says its $8 million contribution to the project is a good example of complementary funding.

"It's about time that agencies come together, because we were always duplicating programs on the ground and we've now realised if we don't come together, then there's going to be continuos duplication and people are just going to be missing out, there's always gaps," Ms Anderson said.



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