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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 7 Hansard (16 June) . . Page.. 2313..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

would be required if the purchase of Calvary was to proceed. That is what I actually said and that I was unclear on that; I had not received full advice. I was unclear; I sought advice, which is what ministers do. That advice has come back. Whether it is in a standard appropriation or a supplementary appropriation will be dependent upon the timings of the negotiations concluding. And I cannot predict when that will be.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, a supplementary question?

MR SMYTH: Treasurer, has Treasury or any other department or agency provided any advice about the need to make an appropriation to fund the proposed purchase of Calvary Public Hospital? If so, will you table that advice?

MS GALLAGHER: They have provided that initial advice to me. It was in a discussion with Treasury. This matter has got processes that need to be worked through—this process, the discussion on Calvary and whether or not we are able to buy it. Yes, we stand here with our hands up in the air saying we would like to buy it as long as we can agree on price with the Little Company of Mary but it is dependent on them actually wanting to sell it to us. So there are quite a number of processes that need to be worked through. All of the agencies involved—in fact, the whole of government—will be providing advice to cabinet as to whether it is to proceed when the negotiations reach that point, which they have not at this point in time.

Energy—solar

MS BURCH: My question is to the Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water. Minister, can you provide an update on the government's efforts to establish Canberra as the solar capital of Australia?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Burch for the question because this is an important policy priority for the Labor government—the establishment of major solar facilities in the ACT and policies that encourage the deployment of solar technology. The government made a commitment at the last election that, if re-elected, Labor would move to establish Canberra as the solar capital of Australia, and I am pleased to report to members that we are taking significant steps to do just that.

Just last month the government formally called for expressions of interest in a solar facility for the ACT, a solar facility capable of powering at least 10,000 Canberra homes and delivering 30 megawatts of generation capacity. The closing date for the expressions of interest process is 9 July and, depending upon the response, it is expected that a request for detailed proposals will be issued in September this year to selected respondents from the stage one process. The facility will provide at least 86,000 megawatt hours per annum—enough, as I have said, to power at least 10,000 homes.

We are also moving ahead with a very detailed community consultation process in relation to this power facility and I note that the Leader of the Opposition and others have criticised the government for embarking on this consultation process and have cast scorn on it before it has even got underway. But we have undertaken a very comprehensive process. Coming up as part of the consultation process there will be a


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