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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 9 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 4033..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

basis to retrofit commercial office premises to achieve greater energy efficiency and has allocated $3.2 million to increase the ACT government's purchase of green power for its own operations from 23 per cent to 30 per cent of our total energy need.

The ACT also participates in the greenhouse gas abatement scheme. This scheme, established under the ACT Electricity (Greenhouse Gas Emissions) Act, was a baseline and credit emissions trading scheme where electricity retailers are required to undertake a certain level of greenhouse gas abatement. Since the scheme's commencement in 2005, abatement in the ACT has amounted to 2.3 million tonnes.

These and other policies have had flow-on effects. For example, the increased demand for tradespeople to fit solar photovoltaic panels has been promoted through the feed-in tariff scheme. To complement this demand, we now see the ACT government's vocational educational provider, the Canberra Institute of Technology, developing specialist trades courses for energy efficiency, such as a new course for plumbers on installing and maintaining solar hot water. We have seen a strong demand for these courses and even stronger demand for the trades they represent. This is just one example of how leadership from the government can motivate changes in the economy and steer jobs towards clean sectors which support a viable and sustainable economy.

The transition to a low emission, clean economy will involve significant change. The government is a strong advocate of a clean economy and believes that economic progress need not be at the expense of the environment. Career opportunities and growth in some sectors will result from adjustments in the economy to address climate change. While the government can set the parameters for what needs to be achieved—for example, through targets, policies and programs—it is only through the combined efforts of government, business and the people of the ACT that success will be achieved. Indeed, it is at the suburb, household and individual levels that the real change is taking place.

As the responsible minister, I have had the opportunity to visit community groups, householders, schools and businesses that have embarked on sustainable practices that show governments and others in the community the way forward. These people, our community, are looking for the government to do the same. Today I believe that, with this bill and with these targets, we are meeting that expectation. Of all Australian states, Canberra is ideally placed to achieve our vision of zero net emissions and lead the way to an achievable low carbon future. This bill gives us the framework to achieve that future. I commend it to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Rattenbury) adjourned to the next sitting.

Planning and Development (Public Notification) Amendment Bill 2010

Mr Barr, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.


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