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Australia a leader in sustainable technology: expert

28 May, 2012

Australia is a world leader in developing clean, more sustainable resources and technologies to prevent pollution, the managing director of CRC CARE, professor Ravi Naidu said recently.

Professor Naidu was commenting on the recent release of the ‘Living Planet Index’ by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) which ranked Australia as the world’s seventh largest polluter based on its overall resource use.

"The report is based on natural resource use per head of population – whereas most of Australia’s resources in fact go overseas to support other countries. Also it overlooks the cutting edge work being done here to improve resource use efficiency and minimise impact on the environment," he said.

"However we agree with the WWF’s general point that the world needs to be more sparing and efficient in its use of resources, and to limit humanity’s impact on water, soil, health and the environment generally – that’s what our research is all about.

"For example we are currently helping Australian resource companies and governments to remediate contaminated soils, to prevent future contamination and to re-use water and other wastes.

"We are working with Chinese scientists to develop new ways to incorporate organic wastes from agriculture back into soils, to increase carbon sequestration, improve fertility and enhance food and energy production. This will benefit both countries."

CRC CARE had formed alliances with companies and researchers in China, India, South Korea, the US, UK and Bangladesh in recent years to develop novel ways to use resources more efficiently and prevent pollution, he said.

This was a result of global recognition of Australia’s leading-edge capacity in the assessment and prevention of contamination.

"Furthermore we are doing this in a way that brings together the interests of industry, government and the community – something that doesn’t often happen around the world," he said.

"So, while Australia is one of the world’s major resource producers, we are also a leader in finding ways to minimise the impact of resource use, recycle things and prevent adverse effects on the environment and human health. And we are a leader in exporting the skills, knowhow and technology to do this to the rest of the world.

"Australia has the track record to show for it.

"But we need to continue to grow our skills and capacity in this area, so we can become truly efficient users of resources that are likely to become increasingly scarce in this century."

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