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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 12 April 2018) . . Page.. 1363 ..

We are already witnessing the impacts of a warming climate, but government cannot respond to this change alone. Together we must prepare for the more extreme changes that lie ahead and increase our resilience in the face of them.

The ACT Government leads Australia in acting to mitigate and reduce the ultimate extent of climate change through its legislation, policy and on-ground works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, particularly through renewable energy.

They were very wise words from Minister Corbell. As we have heard, the government has acted in ensuring that we go to 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2020. I commend the work that my colleagues have done in that space.

One of the concerns that Mr Rattenbury has raised in regard to signing up to the national energy agreement is, of course, the cost to Canberrans as well. We have already set out a program of costs in our move to renewable stationary electricity 100 per cent by 2020. It is programmed in and you can see the price there. The concern with what is proposed in the NEG is that we do not really know what the cost is going to be. I have concerns for Canberrans about the cost that could be placed on them should the agreement go forward.

In regard to the cost that Mr Rattenbury talked about, the cost rise from the closure of one single power station at Hazelwood, if we were to have a look at the PWC paper on the national energy guarantee, it has a graph which looks at coal-fired generators in the national electricity market for the next 50 years and shows a distinct graph of closures over that time. After Hazelwood—Liddell, Vales Point, Gladstone, Yallourn, Eraring, Tarong, Loy Yang A, Bayswater, Callide B, Mount Piper, Loy Yang B and Stanwell are taking us to that point—there are a number of coal-fired generators that will be closing. They are trying to prop some up, of course, at an extreme cost, which we all have to pay for. My concern is the cost to Canberrans. I note in relation to Ms Lee’s comments earlier there was not one mention in her entire speech about the cost to Canberrans. That is of concern to me as well.

The ACT, of course, is not alone in being concerned by the NEG as it stands. Experts around Australia have also raised various concerns. Renewable energy is the future that can deliver our energy needs. We know that. We have a program for the ACT. And we need a policy that helps facilitate these energies. I encourage all in this place to support the motion and help achieve sensible outcomes.

In closing, let me remind those opposite that it was their federal colleague who trashed national consensus on climate change and helped create the current instability in the national energy market and, contrary to what Tony Abbott promised, electricity prices have not fallen. They have risen and the rise is because of the actions of the Abbott-Turnbull government.

Let us get the policies right and ensure that the policies help reduce prices and not increase them. Let us get a national policy that helps us achieve Australia’s Paris agreement pledge and helps decarbonise the electricity sector.

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