Australia to help clean up the world

Wednesday, 04 July, 2007

Australia is preparing to play a leading role in helping to fight contamination round the world with the launch of a new clean-up industry group.

The Remediation Industry Cluster was launched at the First Australian Industry Contamination Summit in Adelaide by the Minister for Finance, Senator Minchin.

The cluster has been brought together through the Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE) to share information about cutting edge clean-up technologies and global market opportunities.

"Its members will include environmental and engineering companies involved in clean-up, and companies from the mining, energy and manufacturing sectors looking for better ways to prevent or remove contamination," CRC CARE managing director Prof Ravi Naidu said.

"It will also include the regulators and environment protection agencies, which are keen to ensure Australia's regulations are up with the latest science and technology and to encourage the growth in this important industry."

A new survey of top executives from industry found 100 per cent support for action by Australia to clean up its legacy of past contamination. Many feel this is essential to our continued reputation and success as an export nation.

Eighty-two per cent of those polled saw good or very good market opportunities worldwide for the export of Australian risk assessment and remediation technologies.

There was also very strong support for forming an industry cluster intended to share information about the latest technical advances in clean-up - and about market opportunities opening up worldwide, especially in Asia as a result of the industrial boom there.

"However, industry also told us they want more cost-effective ways to assess the risks of contamination and to clean it up - and that is exactly what CRC CARE is working on," Prof Naidu said.

"They want more uniform regulations for clean-up across Australia - and they want Australian society as a whole to have a better understanding of the issues and what it means for our health, environment and economic performance."

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