Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 2 August 2018) . . Page.. 2604 ..
The ACT is part of the national energy market with very little generation within the territory itself. It is a fact that we rely on generators in New South Wales and other states for our power, and this just reinforces the need for a national agreement on energy. However, Minister Rattenbury seemed far more interested in grandstanding to his Greens base instead of negotiating productively with his federal counterparts and with other parliaments. I echo the point made by the Victorian climate change minister, Lily D’Ambrosio, in April last year that if Mr Rattenbury has an issue with the NEG, he should raise it in COAG.
Basically power prices continue to increase. In fact the ACT is the only jurisdiction in the national electricity market with power prices expected to rise between July this year and 2020. This is on top of continuous increases to rates, fees, taxes, and charges in this city which are increasingly making Canberra unaffordable for so many people.
Motions such as this moved by Minister Rattenbury achieve nothing for ACT consumers. This is simply a publicity stunt, and a poor one at that. It is interesting to note that Mr Rattenbury seems to need a motion to encourage himself, as the responsible minister in this area, to discuss the national energy guarantee at the next meeting of the energy council. Surely it is the minister’s job to advocate for the ACT in this area. He should not need to move motions calling upon himself to do what he should have already been doing: seeking a better deal for Canberra’s energy consumers. Instead of actually achieving a national consensus, Minister Rattenbury seems intent on joining press conferences with the federal Greens leader, moving motions calling upon himself to do the job and grandstanding to his base, which is of course just 10 per cent of the territory vote.
If Minister Rattenbury seeks to block the national energy guarantee, then ACT consumers will likely be worse off. We certainly will not get the reliability and comfort that national consensus can bring. If the minister has concerns, he should be raising them with the commonwealth in a constructive and productive manner instead of moving pointless motions such as this and continuing to grandstand on the issue.
The Canberra Liberals therefore, encourage the minister to get on with the job of seeking to get reliability and lower energy prices for ACT residents. This is something that the government keeps promising to do but has not actually delivered. I do not support the motion.
MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism and Major Events) (11.10): I would like to reiterate and support the comments Mr Rattenbury has made today about the national energy guarantee, and to highlight the significant problems that the federal government has failed to address.
There is a delicious irony about being lectured by the Canberra Liberals about playing to your base and then being lectured about the size of that base. But I will not go any further on that particular topic.
I think we can all agree that the ACT has been a leader in Australian climate policy for over a decade. We will be powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity in