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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 4 Hansard (3 May) . . Page.. 1167..


MR BARR (continuing):

Whilst on my feet, I also take the opportunity to welcome the announcement from Qantas today that they are going to be increasing capacity on the Canberra-Sydney route by more than 12 per cent. We are going to see some new 72-seat aircraft that are, I am told, larger and faster than the existing 50-seat Dash 8 planes, which is a good thing because those of you who have travelled on the Dash 8s know they can be a bit hairy at times, particularly if you are not a good flyer. I understand that, in total, there will be 140,000 additional seats on the Canberra-Sydney route every year, which is fantastic because Sydney is one of our large tourism markets. All in all, it has been a good day for tourism in the ACT.

Environment—greenhouse gas emissions

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (6.05): I rise to refute the oft-said opinion that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is too expensive. The World Wildlife Fund has produced a report, along with AGL and Frontier Economics, which found that Australians could pay as little as $250 in their whole lifetime to achieve a 40 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the country's electricity generation industry by 2030. The study modelled the cost to Australian society of using low and zero greenhouse gas emission electricity-generating technology to achieve a realistic target by 2030 consistent with the greenhouse gas reductions advocated by climate scientists.

The study, for those who want to look it up, is called "Options for moving to a lower emission future". It found the electricity-generating sector's greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced from current levels of nearly 200 million tonnes to 120 million tonnes by 2030 while still meeting—and this is the key point—growing electricity demand from industries and households. It stated:

"We have found that solutions to help mitigate dangerous climate change are affordable and achievable in Australia—so what is stopping us from starting immediately to reduce CO2 pollution in this country?"WWF-Australia CEO Greg Bourne said.

"The myth of mitigating climate change as being 'too expensive' is discredited—we must move swiftly towards a clean energy future. We already know the consequences if we do nothing are frequent and expensive extreme weather events like droughts and cyclones and the potential loss of up to a million species,"Mr Bourne said.

The study utilises the sophisticated Frontier Economics model of the National Electricity Market—

which is cutely titled WHIRLYGIG—

By simulating investment decisions by electricity market participants, the WHIRLYGIG models act to minimise the cost to society of meeting electricity demand while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. ...

The study shows that reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector could be limited to between $5.19 billion net present value (NPV) and $24.16 billion NPV, depending upon the reduction pathway chosen. ...


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