Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 27 October 2010) . . Page.. 5142 ..
MR CORBELL: The contribution of feed-in tariffs to electricity price is a very modest one. In fact, when you look at data right across the country, it is quite clear that, of the increases to electricity prices that have occurred, less than three per cent of the price increase has been as a result of the deployment of feed-in tariff type schemes.
It is very disappointing to see the New South Wales government make this announcement today. Obviously, they are heading into an election and it would appear that they are particularly sensitive to those issues. We just cannot afford in the solar industry to see this boom and bust cycle when it comes to policy making. It does not provide consistency; it does not provide the appropriate long-term policy setting that is needed to encourage the deployment of renewable energy generation.
Here in the ACT, we have adopted a considered and prudent approach to the deployment of the feed-in tariff. Members opposite should be aware, but clearly they are not, that the announcement made by the government in relation to its expansion of the feed-in tariff scheme put a cap on the amount of renewable energy eligible for the feed-in tariff payment at both the micro and the medium-scale generation level. And that cap ensures that the price of the micro and medium renewable generation schemes does not exceed that already factored in by the Australian Energy Regulator.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, a supplementary question?
MR SESELJA: Yes, Mr Speaker. Minister, the New South Wales government notes that one of the reasons that the New South Wales scheme has been so heavily subscribed is that there has been a flood of cheaper panels from China and Spain. Given that this is the case, how is this scheme developing the local solar industry, a stated goal of the ACT government?
MR CORBELL: Once again the Liberal Party come out in opposition to a scheme that encourages the deployment of renewable energy. Once again they have put themselves on the record as criticising a policy that encourages the deployment of renewable energy.
Mr Seselja: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, under standing order 118, you cannot debate the question. He is also not being in any way relevant to the question. It was very specific. It was about the development of the solar industry, given the comments by the New South Wales government.
MR SPEAKER: Unfortunately I did not hear your question, Mr Seselja, as Mr Hargreaves had approached me at the time. Mr Corbell, I actually did not catch the question, as I was having a conversation with Mr Hargreaves, but I would ask that you try and focus on the question that Mr Seselja asked.
Ms Gallagher: In the first 20 seconds.
MR CORBELL: I know I was only 15 seconds into my answer, but obviously it is a touchy point for the Liberal Party that they do not support renewable energy policy. If I recall the question—