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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Hansard Week 4 (9 April) . . Page.. 1164..


MR GENTLEMAN (continuing):

scheme. So while other jurisdictions have a tariff that is applied as a flat rate across all jurisdictions, in discussion with parliamentary counsel we have inserted a clause that requires the cost of the tariff to be passed on to electricity consumers in proportion to the electricity that they consume.

To put it simply, if those in the ACTEW building across the way are using 100 times the power in comparison to a family in a three-bedroom home in the suburbs, they will contribute 100 times more to the scheme. This will reduce the burden on low-income families or pensioners, for example. I have also written to Minister Gallagher in relation to the concessional rebate review and asked her to take this tariff into account when redesigning a rate for those concessions.

It is important to remind members that one main purpose of this bill is to raise awareness of electricity consumption, with the aim of reducing it. It is designed to enact a social change in the way that we use electricity and for that change to bring about further action on reducing our carbon footprint. I have said numerous times before, and it is proven, that a well-designed, effective feed-in tariff containing several essential elements is the most effective step any government can take in ensuring an increased uptake of renewable energy electricity generation.

It is this government, the Stanhope Labor government, that is taking the initiative and showing leadership on climate change. While we see South Australia introducing a net scheme feed-in law, and that is due to take effect on 1 July, caucus has approved my bill with the rate set at 3.88 as the multiplier for the gross amount of electricity generated.

I want to inform members of some changes to the initial draft that I tabled last year. Several submissions alluded to the fact that the original draft lacked some surety on the time line for the tariff and, of course, there was no cap in relation to the premium rate time line. A clause inserted in the bill provides that once a person has signed up to the scheme they are guaranteed a fixed premium rate for a 20-year period. When that contract runs out, generators can sign up to the scheme again at the rate determined by the minister, for example, in 2028. In addition to that, the minister responsible for determining the rate will only be allowed to determine the premium rate for new connections.

The ACT government has shown the leadership required to ensure that an effective, well-designed feed-in law is enacted within the ACT. I trust that Senator Penny Wong will look closely at the model contained within my bill when advocating for a nationalised approach to feed-in tariffs through the COAG program.

I take this opportunity to thank my caucus colleagues and the many people that have assisted my office in the process of bringing this bill to the Assembly. There are far too many to name personally today, but I will take the time to do so when the bill comes back to the chamber for the detailed debate.

This bill shows leadership. It shows that the Stanhope government is delivering on its promise to take the necessary measures to reduce our ecological footprint. More importantly, it shows that the ACT government is willing and able to provide a


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