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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 27 October 2010) . . Page.. 5144 ..

MS HUNTER: A supplementary question, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Hunter.

MS HUNTER: Minister, are you concerned that the capping of the small-scale generation at 15 megawatts will fuel boom and bust cycles in the industry, and why would the government just not decrease the premium rate payable?

MR CORBELL: As Ms Hunter should be aware, there is an annual review mechanism in relation to the premium price built into the feed-in tariff legislation.

Mr Coe: So there’s not certainty.

MR CORBELL: Of course, Mr Coe’s interjection belies his ignorance of how the scheme operates, because what he fails to appreciate is that, once people have entered into a pricing arrangement with their electricity retailer, that price is guaranteed for 20 years. So there is certainty for the individual purchaser.

But in relation to the industry, it is appropriate that we put a cap on micro and medium-scale generation. It is appropriate to do so because we want to encourage larger scale renewable energy generation. We want to see investment occur in larger scale renewable energy generation, and that is where the growth will be for the industry moving forward. The existing caps that the government has proposed in relation to micro and medium scale—

Mr Smyth: So what happened in Spain when they put a cap in place?

MR CORBELL: What happened in Spain, Mr Smyth, is that they did not have a cap. It was uncapped, it got out of control and they had to close it down. That is exactly what happened, Mr Smyth, and that is why we do not do that here. That is why we have a capped scheme. That is why we put in place caps for micro, medium and, indeed, large-scale generation. There is a cap of 240 megawatts, with individual category caps of 15 megawatts for micro-scale generation—but half of that is yet to be allocated—and another 15 megawatts for medium-scale generation, with the remainder for large-scale generation. Why is the remainder for large-scale generation? Because it is the most cost-effective means of delivering renewable energy through solar. That is why we are doing it.

Public housing—contractors

MS HUNTER: My question is to the minister for housing and is in regard to contractors conducting work on ACT Housing properties. Minister, a constituent complained to your office about unlicensed contractors performing electrical work at an ACT Housing property during the week of 21 May 2010, one of whom received an electric shock. Your office responded that there must have been a miscommunication and claimed that the contractors were in fact licensed.

Minister, what investigations did you, your office or the department conduct into whether the individuals who attended the property were properly licensed

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