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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 June 2021) . . Page.. 1617 ..


station in the Hunter. We would stop the madness of sending billions of dollars in subsidies to a dead industry that is destroying the climate.

I was delighted to stand with national Greens leader Adam Bandt, ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury, and federal Greens candidate Tim Hollo last Friday to talk about this motion. I had not realised how important this was to the rest of the country until that morning. The ACT is a beacon of hope. We have such strong climate action here that I forgot how far behind Australia has fallen. We need to tell our federal, state and territory counterparts that it is possible and that we need to join together and act now. I commend this motion to the Assembly.

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Climate Action, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism) (3.27): I thank Ms Clay for bringing this motion forward today. She has highlighted the fact that the ACT is leading the nation in climate action.

In 2019 the ACT became the first jurisdiction outside Europe to transition to 100 per cent renewable electricity, and just last year we achieved a 45 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels, exceeding our 2020 interim target. Now, as Ms Clay has indicated, we are focused on reaching net zero emissions by 2045. As a city, the best contribution we can make to the global effort to reduce emissions is to take real action ourselves to address climate change, and, in doing so, demonstrate how good public policy can be implemented at a sub-national government level, and how good policies can work. I believe that this is exactly what the ACT is doing.

We took an ambitious emissions reduction platform to the 2020 election, with a set of policies that supported and encouraged households through this rapid transition. Importantly, these policies will also help create up to 2,000 sustainable jobs as part of our plan to grow our employment base to 250,000 jobs by 2025. The territory budget for this fiscal year invested more than $300 million over the next five years in the delivery of these climate action commitments, which include helping Canberra households to invest in renewable energy upgrades through the Sustainable Household Scheme—a scheme that will provide eligible households with access to zero-interest loans for purchases, including rooftop solar systems, household battery storage systems, electric heating and cooling, hot-water heat pumps and electric vehicle infrastructure. The scheme will extend to provide assistance for those wishing to enter into the electric vehicle revolution. The Sustainable Household Scheme will save families hundreds of dollars each year and contribute to a city-wide reduction in energy consumption. I am pleased to advise the Assembly that more than 4,500 households have already registered their interest in the scheme.

We are also getting on with the job of delivering the Big Canberra Battery—a distributed, large-scale battery storage system to harness emerging technology. The battery will provide at least 250 megawatts of power, contributing to a more stable electricity grid and producing a dampening effect on prices in the territory. Since our announcement to fund the building of the battery, several reputable companies—dozens, in fact—have expressed an interest in being involved in the project.


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