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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 27 October 2010) . . Page.. 5143 ..

Mr Smyth: You do know the standing orders, don’t you?

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, thank you.

MR CORBELL: The government has put in place measures that encourage the development of industry and economic activity here in the territory as a result of the feed-in tariff. I have just challenged Mr Seselja to go out and talk to all of the installers, all of the companies that supply solar products here in the ACT. They have created jobs. They have created many, many jobs here in the ACT. In fact, almost every renewable energy supply company in the country that works at the micro or the household level has a presence here in the ACT because of the feed-in tariff.

It is the case, of course, that there is only one company that currently manufactures solar PV in Australia and that company has expanded its operations here in Australia. It has done so because of policies like the feed-in tariff. It has done so because of demand stimulated by measures such as the feed-in tariff. So we have got jobs on the ground, we have got people installing, we have got electricians and we have got the people who are selling the products. They are all employed and contributing to the local economy here in the ACT. I cannot believe the Liberal Party criticise the creation of jobs in the solar industry. (Time expired.)

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order, members! Mrs Dunne, you have the call but before you proceed, members, this is the moment to ask supplementary questions, not to call across the chamber while the minister answers the question.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, Ms Keneally said today in reference to the policy shift that “it is now time to adjust the levers so that we can continue to create solar power but not drive up electricity prices”. Minister, when will you follow the lead of your New South Wales colleagues and adjust the policy levers of the ACT in order to continue creating solar power without driving up electricity prices?

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, the Liberal Party obviously did not hear the answer to the previous question. The Labour government has capped the micro and medium generation scheme. There is no additional cost to consumers because of that decision beyond that already factored into the Australian Energy Regulator’s price determination. They do not seem to understand that, Mr Speaker, but that is the fact. They do not understand it.

What is particularly disappointing is the decision of the New South Wales government to wind back a scheme in a way that does not give long-term policy certainty for the solar industry. What we need is long-term policy certainty for the solar industry. That is what we have done with the scheme and the parameters of the scheme that the government has announced. This sort of chopping and changing that we are seeing from the New South Wales government does nothing to promote long-term policy certainty and investment certainty for the renewable energy industry. It is very disappointing.

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