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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 12 April 2018) . . Page.. 1360 ..


hopefully, agree to. This is not some extreme ideological or political position as Liberal politicians have sought to portray it. The ACT’s concerns are supported by clear analysis from experts in environmental economics, in climate change, in renewable energy, and in energy markets.

Much of this analysis points out the frightening prospect that implementing the NEG would actually be worse than doing nothing. There is no ideological objection, no insistence that we hold out with some impossible to achieve ideal. No; the starting point for my negotiating principles is to ensure that we do not lock us into something that would be even worse than the business as usual approach.

I think members would agree that these principles are sound and reasonable.

For example, the first principle is that emission reduction policies should provide long-term policy certainty in line with Australia’s Paris climate change commitments, including net zero emissions by 2050, with the electricity sector providing a major contribution to this target. The current NEG design does not do this. Its projections are only until 2030, and it pro-ratas a minimal 26 per cent reduction target on the electricity sector, leaving difficult and expensive cuts to be made in other sectors. Again, this is an inefficient and costly exercise that could only be achieved at great taxpayer expense.

Another principle requires that any emissions reduction policy provides a mechanism to recognise additional action by individuals, organisations and subnational governments such as the ACT to reduce electricity emissions. Again, the NEG fails to do this. Not only would it require the ACT to pay twice for emissions, but it would force a low emissions ceiling over the country so that for every extra step the ACT makes to reduce pollution, another less committed state can simply pollute more. This is a model that would undermine the ACT’s climate targets and climate actions. Ms Lee was adamant in her speech yesterday that she and her Canberra Liberals colleagues are very supportive of the ACT’s climate change targets, so I expect that they would not accept them being undermined in such a fashion.

These are some of the many serious problems with the NEG which have been exposed by a significant body of non-partisan expert analysis. They are some of the many reasons that I am raising concerns about the NEG on behalf of the ACT rather than locking us into a bad deal that will cause a bad outcome for the environment, for consumers and particularly for the territory. I encourage members to support this motion and to support the principles that must be part of any national emissions reduction policy and national energy policy to ensure a good outcome for the climate, consumers and the ACT. I commend my motion to the Assembly.

MS LEE (Kurrajong) (11.52): I do not intend to take up much of the Assembly’s time. As I indicated yesterday, I do find it somewhat curious on a couple of levels that the minister has brought on a motion and listed it on the notice paper under executive business when it could easily have been by way of ministerial statement or simply rolled into the speech to Ms Orr’s motion yesterday. I note, however, that the minister was not present for much of the debate on Ms Orr’s motion and I hope that going to


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