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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 11 May 2021) . . Page.. 1255 ..

city for a cleaner energy future. Powering Canberra with 100 per cent renewable electricity is one important reform this government has undertaken.

Thanks to the leadership of Labor, over the next four years we will see more rooftop solar across households and businesses, helping support the deployment of more renewable energy and helping to reduce electricity costs. Labor leadership will also see more battery storage deployed across the city, including the big battery. These policies will support more renewable energy into the grid, as well as helping both the nation and the world transition to a renewable energy led electricity grids.

These policies are also supporting jobs across our city. It is this Labor government that supported jobs through the worst economic crisis faced. This government is charting a path led by renewable energy to ensure our city is prepared for the challenges that global warming will inevitably bring.

Labor’s policies also support training and reskilling, and I am proud that some of this work is being done in our home of Tuggeranong, with the training for diesel bus mechanics to upskill and work on our new electric buses. Of course, Mr Assistant Speaker, we both agree that much more could be done in Tuggeranong.

As we deploy more renewable energy into the grid it is also important to reform our regulatory framework. Understanding the electricity market can be complex, and I support initiatives that make things simpler to understand. We have heard the bill brings added transparency for consumers to our city. Canberrans already have access to some of the lowest retail electricity prices in Australia, and the reforms proposed by this bill will allow electricity consumers to better understand prices offerings from those retailers.

The objective, as we have heard, is to bring about a reference price framework—in essence, a consistent benchmark to allow consumers to compare offers between retailers. The bill has reforms in it that arise from recommendations from the ICRC and adopts similar measures in other states, known as the default market offer.

I understand around 40 per cent of electricity consumers in our city are on a standing price offer, and the difference between a standing price offer and the best market price can be up to $400 per year. So, by implementing the reforms in this bill, tens of thousands of Canberrans will be able to find the best electricity price in the market and save on their bills each year. As I said at the beginning, the territory has led the push for more renewable energy while supporting Canberrans. The bill builds on this record, and I commend it to the Assembly.

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Climate Action, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism) (11.57), in reply: I thank members for their contributions to the debate. I thank and acknowledge Minister Rattenbury for co-sponsoring the legislation with me. To be clear, as we have heard through the debate, the bill delivers on a key government commitment to make it simpler for Canberrans to get better energy deals. As we have heard, those improvements could be to the tune of around $400 a year. We think about 70,000 households stand to benefit by up to $400 a year as a result of this legislation passing.

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