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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 8 Hansard (14 August) . . Page.. 2849 ..


equipment. Indeed, they are able to access equipment from New South Wales on a very fast basis when there are other needs that occur.

We have large storage containers of equipment for this sort of use, both in the ACT and in New South Wales as well. And of course we have operational procedures in plan ready to take action on such occasions.

MR PARTON: Minister, how can you assure the public that this is safe, given that there is no specific allocation in the budget to address this safety issue?

MR GENTLEMAN: We invest heavily in our police and emergency services personnel and equipment. Whilst we do not allocate specifics to these sorts of items in the budget, they are purchased for many uses across the ACT. So Fire & Rescue have a great many resources available to them to deal with these sorts of situations.

Energy—national energy guarantee

MR PETTERSSON: My question is to the Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability. Minister, could you please update the Assembly on the COAG Energy Council meeting last week and tell us why the ACT is not supporting the national energy guarantee as it is currently proposed?

MR RATTENBURY: Yes, the COAG Energy Council meeting did take place on Friday. This was a meeting of the state and territory governments and the commonwealth. It would be fair to say that that meeting did not endorse the national energy guarantee and that the ACT explicitly declined to sign up to the national energy guarantee in principle.

We were joined in that stance by Victoria and Queensland, and those three state and territory governments expressed a number of ongoing concerns with the national energy guarantee. These take a number of different forms. Predominantly, the jurisdictions continue to be deeply concerned by the limited emissions reduction target in the national energy guarantee. We are of the view that this will ensure that Australia does not meet its Paris climate change commitments and will also place a heavier burden on other sectors such as agriculture and transport because we know that the electricity sector is the cheapest, most effective and most technologically possible place to reduce emissions.

We were also concerned about jurisdictions that have done work to transition to a clean energy future and are not getting credit for that and are seeing other jurisdictions essentially free riding on those efforts. Certainly in the case of the ACT we continue to work with the commonwealth to resolve the issue to ensure that the ACT's 100 per cent renewable energy commitment by 2020 is adequately recognised under the scheme and that the ACT is appropriately rewarded and recognised for having put that work in place.

It is fair to say that a significant number of external commentators continue to have concerns with the national energy guarantee as well. What we have said is that we will remain at the table and will continue to work with the commonwealth to try to get


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