Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 30 June 2011) . . Page.. 3034 ..
Changing in the price does not change that pass through that is available to retailers. All it means is that potentially there will be more installation. You will provide for more capacity within the cap. That is all Mr Seselja’s price change does. It certainly does not reduce the price impact on consumers. The price impact on consumers is already set and will be passed through over the period of time of the determination. So Mr Seselja’s suggestion is just wrong in relation to that and he is fooling himself if he thinks otherwise.
Madam Assistant Speaker, those are the two reasons why the government will not be supporting this scheme. I just cannot believe that, firstly, one party that has argued against the feed-in tariff consistently in this place ever since they voted for it, I should add, back in 2008, and then changed their mind and argued against it, is now saying they want to reopen it to the category of installation which is the least cost efficient of any part of the scheme.
It is just such a contradictory approach, lacking in logic. It is lacking in logic and lacking in an understanding of how this scheme operates. We have from the other party in this place that argues for larger-scale renewable energy generation, the closing out of the medium generator category. Mr Rattenbury criticises me on the issues around large-scale solar, and we can have a debate about that.
But he failed to address the fact that his amendments mean there will be a rapidly diminishing opportunity for medium scale generation as a result of these changes. He fails to address that. In fact, he knows there is no argument for that. He knows that microgeneration is quicker to install. He knows microgeneration is cheaper to install and he knows there will be a massive rush by consumers to get in because they have seen the scheme once. They have been given a second chance by the Liberals and the Greens. They are going to make sure they get in because they know it is going to close again.
It is as simple as that, Madam Assistant Speaker. It is as simple as that. That is what will occur. The government has advice, verbal advice today from the Australian Solar Energy Society that suggests that they think it could be as high as a megawatt a week—a megawatt a week of applications coming through.
That means that you have just bought, in that worst case scenario, the industry an extra six or seven weeks. That is what it means. The important thing to realise here is that the government will have to close entry to the scheme ahead of the cap being reached because of the lag between applications going in and connections occurring.
That means that some consumers will have entered into contracts that will not be able to be honoured because of that. That will be entirely down to the irresponsible actions of the Liberals and the Greens today. I put that on the record now. The government will not allow itself to be held accountable for that. It will be down to the Liberals and the Greens for devising a revised scheme structure that creates that scenario. For all of those reasons, the government will not be supporting this amendment today.