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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 10 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 4429..

MS DUNDAS (continuing):

That is why I think it is unfortunate that this bill specifically excludes large users of power. I accept that currently the ACT does not have any users large enough to be exempted, but it would have been preferable, and I would have thought possible, to include in the legislation today larger end users. The federal minimal renewable energy target to increase renewable energy output by 2 per cent by 2010 is insignificant and we need to go further. This bill goes a little bit further. As I said earlier, the Democrats are happy to support the bill. However, I hope the government recognises that it will have to dramatically increase expectations of energy retailers in the near future if we are to have any chance of meeting our current emissions target.

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism, and Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming) (10.43), in reply: I thank members for their overwhelming and enthusiastic support for the bill. In order to save some time I will refer to the topic of implementing a system that is uniform to the system that has been implemented in New South Wales. As the ACT is landlocked by New South Wales this government has made arrangements to run its system in concert with the system being run in that state. It is a commonsense and axiomatic decision, as there is a considerable overlap of retail markets in the ACT and New South Wales. I again thank members for their overwhelming and enthusiastic support for the bill.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Clauses 1 to 6, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 7.

MS TUCKER (10.44): I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name [see schedule 9 at page 4474].

Mr Speaker, you will be interested to hear why I am proposing this amendment.

MR SPEAKER: I am always interested in what you have to say, Ms Tucker. You know that.

MS TUCKER: I propose this amendment to ensure that the Assembly has the scope to further reduce the benchmark tonnage following the results of an independent review of the scheme by the end of 2006. The amendment does not force an automatic change in the benchmarks for the ACT; it simply provides a mechanism for the Assembly to reconsider the appropriateness of the benchmark two years into the life of the scheme.

This should ensure that we have the capacity to adjust to changing circumstances such as the introduction of a national emissions trading scheme-or an international one if Kyoto is ratified-or, in light of population growth in the territory, which may mean that while the benchmarks are being met, emissions are actually increasing due to the absence of a cap on overall emissions.

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