Wind has little to cheer about of late in Australia. First the new renewables budget has little to offer besides a continuation of funding to programs currently in operation. The only new spending is A$6.5 million for an agency to administer the 2% mandatory renewable target legislation that comes into effect January 2001. Second, federal environment minister Robert Hill has approved yet another new coal fired power plant, this time a 600-850 MW station at Kogan Creek in western Queensland. This is despite the strong condemnation of Queensland's continued investment in fossil fuel plant by the state government earlier this year. The developers, Consolidated Electric Power Asia of Hong Kong and their subsidiary, Allied Queensland Coalfields Pty Ltd, have agreed to plant 1000 hectares of trees for the first two years and another 50 hectares a year for the following eight years to offset the CO2 emissions from the plant, according to Hill. The Queensland Conservation Council claims the trees will only offset 1% of the expected emissions.
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