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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 6 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2614..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

impacts. Accordingly, emissions associated with ACT electricity usage is counted as part of the territory's greenhouse gas inventory.

The scheme is based on the New South Wales gas abatement scheme and will be highly integrated and consistent with this model. It operates by setting benchmarks for industry, where compliance is measured through the acquisition of greenhouse gas abatement certificates. Compliance with this scheme is far more cost effective than failing to reach benchmarks and, if fines are imposed, this money is redirected back into environmental programs.

The scheme is also extremely flexible and practical as it allows compliance to be achieved in a wide variety of ways. One example of this is the requirement for cleaner or renewable technologies, such as is achieved by the conversion of existing generators to natural gas-based operation, or the introduction of new wind, solar or carbon sequestration technologies. Other examples are the initiation of effective energy demand education programs for consumers, or forest carbon sinks, which lead to measurable reductions in greenhouse emissions.

This scheme is a major breakthrough as it allows the energy sector, traditionally associated with environmental degradation, to become part of a long-term solution. It recognises the importance of both the environment and electricity generation in the advancement of modern society. Most importantly, this scheme allows for industry incentive. The flexibility enshrined in this legislation allows the market to achieve greenhouse gas abatement. It does not distort the market and it does not choose technological winners and losers, making it economically viable in the longer term.

This bill will greatly assist in keeping Canberra a sustainable, liveable city for future generations. Its passage will ensure that the ACT plays its part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions that result from our lifestyle. We look forward to the support of all of our Assembly colleagues, not only those in the opposition-who agreed during their term of office to greenhouse gas reduction targets in the ACT-but also those on the crossbenches, who have expressed strong interest in greenhouse and other environmental issues.

The legislation encapsulates a forward-looking scheme that is good for the environment, good for consumers and good for business. I therefore commend the Electricity (Greenhouse Gas Emissions) Bill to the Assembly as a positive step forward in this government's program.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Payroll Tax Amendment Bill 2004

Mr Quinlan , pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism, and Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming) (11.17): I move:

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