Page 2356 - Week 07 - Thursday, 4 August 2022

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distributor’s obligations to provide connections under national energy laws that apply in the ACT.

In summary, this bill will partially achieve our commitments to phasing out new natural gas or fossil fuel gas connections set out in the current parliamentary agreement and climate change strategy. A future regulation that will be the subject of public consultation will deliver the commitments. This in turn will assist the territory to meet its emissions reduction targets.

This amendment bill will amend the act in the following key ways. It will, firstly, create a regulation‐making power to limit new natural gas connections in prescribed circumstances. This power is limited to regulations for new natural gas connections. It does not extend to or impact on gas connections that already exist. Any new regulations would only apply to natural gas and would not impinge on connections for a future 100 per cent renewable gas network, if it became available.

Secondly, it will provide a mechanism to modify the national energy laws, but only to the extent that they give effect to preventing new natural gas connections. This mechanism is crucial to ensure that the ACT’s gas distributor will not be in breach of its current obligations to provide gas connections under the National Gas Rules.

Thirdly, it will require that the chief planning executive’s advice is sought and considered before making a regulation. This will ensure that all planning implications are considered and integrated prior to making a regulation. Fourthly, it will make compliance with the legislation a condition of the gas distributor’s utility licence. This inclusion provides scope for monitoring and enforcement by the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission through the Utilities Act 2000 and the utility licence annual reporting process.

The bill represents an important step for the territory in its progress towards achieving its legislated net zero emissions target. Having fully decarbonised the ACT’s electricity supply, addressing greenhouse gas emissions from the combustion of gas is the next important step. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Ms Lawder) adjourned to the next sitting.

Senior Practitioner Amendment Bill 2022

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

Title read by Clerk.

MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee—Assistant Minister for Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health, Minister for Mental Health, Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (10.46): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to introduce the Senior Practitioner Amendment Bill 2022. The Senior Practitioner Act, which was passed in 2018, created the role of the senior practitioner,

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