Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 June 2011) . . Page.. 2268 ..
announced in terms of electricity bills, five of that six per cent increase was a result of changes to the federal government’s renewable energy target scheme. Those costs are being passed through to consumers as a result of changes in the way the federal government has structured that scheme and the requirement that scheme puts on electricity companies to purchase an increased amount of renewable energy generation as part of their total energy purchase.
What is pleasing about this decision, though, is that the ICRC has confirmed that the most recent price increase was in no way impacted on by the ACT’s feed-in tariff scheme. There was not a single cent—not a single cent—of this price increase that was a result of the ACT’s feed-in tariff scheme, contrary to some of the assertions we have heard over the past few months from those opposite.
What this again highlights is that the ACT government is appropriately and responsibly managing its energy policies to keep electricity prices the lowest of any state or territory in the country, providing assistance to those low income households who are struggling, providing generous rebates and programs to assist with energy efficiency for those households, and putting in place responsible policies and programs that encourage the uptake of renewable energy to help make this city undertake its transition to be a sustainable city into the future. That is the sort of policy setting the people expect of the government. I am pleased that to date we have been able to deliver that. We will continue to focus to achieve that.
MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Ms Hunter?
MS HUNTER: Minister, in relation to the utilities concessions program, how will you be ensuring that the value of those concessions will continue over the next few years and will not lose their value as they have in past years?
MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Hunter for the question. In the last budget, the government announced that it would be ensuring that the payment for concessions was indexed to CPI. So it is now an indexed amount which is ongoing through the budget. The government will continue to review the operations of its concessions regime. My colleague Minister Burch, through her directorate, is undertaking a detailed review of how we can continue to ensure that we maintain the relative benefit and the relative amount that is made available through the energy concession and other concession schemes to make sure they are not eroded over time. That remains a very important objective of the government.
MR COE: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, I refer to these comments made by the Deputy Chief Minister on Friday in relation to an executive comprising only four ministers: “I don’t believe it’s sustainable in the long term.” Given that your deputy considers a ministry of four is not “sustainable in the long term”, why did you only appoint four ministers and will you appoint a fifth before the 2012 election?