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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 11 Hansard (21 October) . .

Page.. 3322..

Since the announcement of the Wind Auction there has been significant comment, both in the media and via correspondence, in relation to opposition to, and support for, wind farms in the broader ACT region. In this context it is important to note that the Wind Auction provides for proposals that may relate to potential wind farms that are located anywhere in the geographic area connected to the National Electricity Market. This includes all jurisdictions in Australia, excluding Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

It is also noted that proponents are required to satisfy community consultation obligations in preparing a development application applicable to the relative jurisdiction where the prospective wind farm is to be located. This process is outside the control of the ACT Government, unless the proposed wind farm is to be located within the ACT.

The assessment process is overseen by an independent expert Advisory Panel, which will make recommendations to me in due course as to what is considered to be the best value for money proposals. I am not able to predict the outcome of the Advisory Panel's assessment, however I have the utmost confidence in its ability to critically analyse all aspects of proponent responses, including how those responses may align with public comment regarding community consultation. I too shall be mindful of these matters in my consideration of the Advisory Panel's recommendations to me.

Energy—wind farms—petition No 16-14

The response read as follows:

Thank you for your letter to Mr Simon Corbell MLA, Minister for the Environment, of 16 September 2014 about Petition No. 16-14 lodged by Ms Lawder MLA on behalf of 86 Australian Capital Territory residents and 556 New South Wales residents. In Minister Corbell's absence on official business, I am responding on his behalf.

I understand the petition relates to the ACT Large-scale Wind Auction, presently underway. The closing date for the submission of proposals in the Auction was 3 September 2014. Those proposals deemed eligible and suitable for full assessment are subject to a value for money evaluation. This evaluation is comprised of an assessment of proponent responses to four evaluation criteria, together with the feed-in tariff price nominated by proponents for their respective proposals.

The four evaluation criteria and their respective score weightings are as follows:

1. Risks to timely project completion - 50%

2. Local community engagement - 20%

3. ACT economic development benefits - 20%

4. Reliance on Treasury Financial Guarantee - 10%

The ACT Government is aware of the at times contentious nature of large-scale wind farm developments in Australia. This was taken into account in the design of the Wind Auction process and resulted, in part, in the above local community engagement criterion being included.

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