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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 April 2021) . . Page.. 853 ..

MR BARR: I thank Ms Orr for the question. Canberra is undoubtedly the renewable energy capital of our country. Through a concerted effort by progressive parties in this place over the last 10 years, we have worked hard to achieve our target of 100 per cent renewable electricity, and we have done that ahead of schedule. I stood up at a Labor Party conference in 2015, my first conference as Chief Minister, and announced a commitment to get to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025. We were able to get there by 2020, and that is a tremendous achievement for this jurisdiction. We have exceeded our legislated emissions reduction target for 2020 of a 40 per cent reduction on 1990 levels. Through the budget that we are debating this week, we are delivering more than $300 million in new programs and initiatives to accelerate the territory’s transition to net zero emissions, whilst at the same time supporting Canberra households in making that transition.

The government’s science-based policy demonstrates what climate action can be achieved in a short time frame, and I think it does set an example for the rest of the country to follow. Pleasingly, at least at a state and territory level, and indeed across both blue states and red states, we are seeing action at state and territory level, but the ACT has consistently led the way.

MS ORR: Chief Minister, how will you ensure that all Canberrans benefit from the transition to net zero emissions?

MR BARR: By offering zero interest loans for rooftop solar panels, household battery storage, zero emission vehicles and energy efficient electric appliances, we will support more households to make good long-term investments in their homes. Canberrans can immediately start saving hundreds of dollars annually on local electricity bills without having to pay the large up-front costs associated with those major appliance purchases.

With the Sustainable Household Scheme, we are seeking to address what has been identified by middle Canberra as a significant up-front barrier, and to let households repay interest free over a period of up to 10 years. In addition to this scheme, we are ensuring that those who do not own their own home are still able to benefit from a sustainable infrastructure program by investing $50 million to improve building efficiency and sustainability for social and public housing, lower income owner-occupiers and the lowest performing rental properties.

Finally in this section, I wish to highlight the government’s investment in large-scale battery storage, already underway and with a lot more to come, to support Canberrans’ investment, particularly in solar, to ensure the stability of our electricity network and to provide a revenue source for the territory—at a household level, clearly, but also territory wide, as we sell our clean energy back into the national grid.

MR PETTERSSON: Chief Minister, what measures is the government considering to ensure that the ACT can continue adapting to a changing climate?

MR BARR: I thank Mr Pettersson for the question. Unfortunately, it is now a fact of life that many of the negative effects of climate change are already locked in, and they

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