Page 1887 - Week 06 - Thursday, 8 June 2023

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Question resolved in the affirmative.

Original question, as amended, resolved in the affirmative.

Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Natural Gas Transition) Amendment Bill 2022

Debate resumed from 4 August 2022, on motion by Mr Rattenbury:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (4.36): The Canberra Liberals are not supporting this bill today. This legislation will limit Canberrans’ choice when it comes to selecting their preferred energy source for their homes. We feel that this is a flawed piece of legislation. It contains a Henry VIII clause, enabling legislation to be amended by regulation, and we have not seen any substantive detail on the content of possible regulation.

As usual with the Greens-Labor government, the bill is half-baked. It is about being seen to take action without actually delivering meaningful results. In drafting this legislation, the Greens-Labor government have failed to consider the territory’s pipeline infrastructure, which could have as long as 80 years remaining of its useful life. They will just ignore and junk these assets. If this government were a business, they would have been sacked long ago for inefficiency and mismanagement. Canberrans deserve better.

The proposed legislation is also in conflict with the Australian Energy Market agreement between the commonwealth and all states and territories. Apparently, this conflict is the reason why the Henry VIII clause is needed. Once again, I say that it is a poorly conceived piece of legislation, and we will not be supporting it. Nevertheless I would like to thank officials from the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate and the minister’s energy adviser, who provided a briefing to Ms Lee’s office on 5 September last year, and thank Kelli from Ms Lee’s office for putting together some notes for me today.

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Climate Action, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism) (4.38): I am pleased to support the bill. It demonstrates that progress on climate action can be achieved. I want particularly in this context to draw members’ attention to the price determination of the ICRC yesterday, and how the government’s actions over an extended period of time in pursuing renewable energy have, indeed, benefited this community not only by way of emission reduction but also, as we are seeing now, by much lower energy prices.

We must recognise that gas is still a significant part of ACT energy consumption. Twenty-two per cent of our annual emissions are from gas, and that is split roughly fifty-fifty between households and industrial use, by volume.

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