Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 7 Hansard (15 May) . . Page.. 2021..
number of commitments. They were modest commitments because we certainly understood last year that there were challenges facing the ACT economy. A budget is a balance of competing priories; every year it is.
We have taken a range of steps in order to look at how we diversify our economy. The Treasurer is leading that work in relation to the business diversification strategy. I am doing my own work in relation to the higher education sector. We are acutely aware of the fact that, I think, under any federal government of any political persuasion the next couple of years are going to be tough for Canberra and that does require a measured response from the local government. Where we can influence decisions and impacts on the economy we will take those.
MR COE: My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development. Minister, you are on the record as stating:
Modelling undertaken for the ACT's climate change policy shows that a 90% renewable energy target can be achieved in 2020 with the ACT maintaining the lowest electricity prices.
That quotation is from an ACT government media release of 23 April this year. Minister, in the federal budget released yesterday, funding was cut from the agency responsible for clean power grants and the clean technology program was reprofiled. Minister, do these federal cuts change the abovementioned modelling that seeks to achieve a 90 per cent renewable target by 2020?
MR CORBELL: No.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe.
MR COE: Minister, do you share the federal Labor government's change in priorities away from renewable energy?
MR CORBELL: First of all, I do not accept the proposition of the question that the federal Labor government is moving away from its commitment to renewable energy technologies.
Mr Coe: How would you characterise it?
MR CORBELL: I would characterise it as a complete misrepresentation on your part. The issue of Labor's commitment to renewable energy is very clear. The establishment of ARENA and the establishment of the funds under ARENA are very significant contributions, and they remain significant even after the reprofiling that has taken place in this budget. They are still multimillion dollar commitments to renewable energy deployment, and they reflect Labor's commitment to the uptake of renewable energy generation across the country. Those opposite, Madam Speaker, will have you believe—
Opposition members interjecting—