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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 27 November 2014) . . Page.. 4194 ..

I am looking forward to discussing with residents when I meet with them in the coming week or so. In the interim I will be seeking some further advice from the EPA on these issues.


DR BOURKE: My question is to the Minister for the Environment. Minister, last month you announced that the ACT solar auction was a finalist for a national award. Can you please give the Assembly an update on this award?

MR CORBELL: I thank Dr Bourke for the question. Yes, last month I was pleased to advise members that the government’s solar auction program had been selected as a finalist in the local government and sustainability award category of the annual Banksia Foundation awards.

The Banksia Foundation is a national not-for-profit organisation which promotes environmental excellence and sustainability through its awards program and other associated initiatives. The Banksia Sustainability Awards recognise the development and application of innovations that use new approaches, technologies and/or energy systems for business and community benefit.

As I indicated to members last month, the solar auction process was selected because of its innovative approach. It was the first use of a reverse auction process in Australia. The use, in particular, of a contract for difference mechanism was a new level of innovation for Australian renewable energy policymaking.

I was therefore very pleased to see the team from the Environment and Planning Directorate announced as the winning entry in the local government and sustainability category of the award for the solar auction process. I was particularly proud to see that the solar auction then took out top honours on the day, with our solar auction winning the Banksia Gold Award as the overall winner across all categories for this year’s Banksia awards. This went beyond all expectations.

The recipient of the gold award is selected from the winners of all the award categories; it is awarded to the individual or organisation which, in the judges’ opinion, has made the contribution most worthy of extra recognition and acknowledgement. The Banksia Gold Award winner aims to represent the most significant issues facing the environment industry and the organisation and projects that are focusing on those issues.

My particular congratulations and thanks go to the staff of the Environment and Planning Directorate, who are responsible for the delivery of this innovative program, a program that has now received significant national recognition. It is a testament to the expertise and hard work of the team in my directorate. It is gratifying to see that these policy measures are receiving this level of acknowledgement on a national stage. They highlight the government’s continued commitment to move towards a low carbon future for our city.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

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