Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 9 Hansard (16 September) . .
MADAM SPEAKER: Before I call on Ms Lawder, I acknowledge the presence in the gallery of Mr Angus Taylor MP, the Member for Hume. Welcome to the ACT Legislative Assembly.
Energy—wind—petitions Nos 15-14 and 16-14
MS LAWDER (Brindabella), by leave: I have sponsored these petitions today to give the opportunity to those who do not reside in the ACT to have a voice on the decisions our government is making which are affecting them. Officially we have heard that these petitions have a small number of signatories, but between them almost 800 people have signed these documents, and many reside in neighbouring New South Wales towns.
It is not general practice in this place to talk on behalf of citizens that this Assembly does not represent, but I do this today, Madam Speaker, because these people are being affected by the decisions of this government. We are implementing policy in the ACT for the Labor government to get bragging rights without any of the adverse consequences which may come with it.
These people may not live here, they may not be ACT ratepayers or ACT voters, but here we have residents of the greater capital region who are being affected by our government's obsessions with being the greenest jurisdiction in the country. When the Select Committee on Regional Development was set up in February 2013, the Chief Minister said about the region, "Generally people do not consciously recognise the jurisdictional boundary."
The Chief Minister also talked about the importance of working closely with people in the greater capital region. However, this government's renewable energy policies, far greater targets than anywhere else in the country, create unrealistic environmental targets that are imposing higher electricity prices on our residents and are forcing industrial wind turbines and solar farms upon communities in our region.
Further, if the ACT grabs all the available approved sites then less wind power sites will be available for the RET, and this will have the perverse consequence of driving down the RET by a quantity equal to the ACT scheme. There may be negligible net gain to the ACT's renewable energy scheme due to the ACT scheme.
The Friends of Collector group yesterday put out a media release which, when referring to the wind farm which is planned next to their village, states:
Collector residents oppose the proposed industrial estate due to it destroying:
their visual amenity—the proposed 150 metre high turbines will be on the escarpment (75 metres high) overlooking the town from a distance of 3-4 kilometres, thereby dominating all visual aspects of the town;
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