Page 3324 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 14 November 2007

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I am proposing that the minister review the rate every year via a disallowable instrument, taking into consideration certain factors. When determining the rate, the minister must take into consideration the need to encourage the generation of electricity from renewable sources. The minister must also consider the need to reduce emissions of greenhouse gas, the pay-back period for the initial investment and the costs to the distributor.

This bill will be available as an exposure draft so that members of the public and stakeholders can ensure that any concerns are addressed in the legislation. I ask the government and stakeholders to have any submissions completed by the end of February 2008 so that the bill can be ready for the Assembly in March next year.

In closing, I would like to refer to the Stern report, which indicates that the cost of electricity in the future will be far greater if we do not act now. I have said it before and I will continue to preach these words: we have a fantastic opportunity here in the ACT to make a successful transition from reliance on coal and clean coal electricity to renewable energy.

I urge all members to support this bill. I believe, as do many others around the world, that this is an important piece of legislation. If and when this becomes law, there will not be a waiting time of 10 to 15 years. There will not be a waiting time while scientists develop clean coal technology. This is a concrete step that provides instant results. We have a powerful tool in the sun; let’s not waste it. Herman Scheer, dubbed the father of the feed-in law in Germany, has made famous this quote: “remember, the sun doesn’t send us any bills”.

Hospitals—proposed inquiry

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra—Leader of the Opposition) (11.05): I move:

That this Assembly calls on the Chief Minister to establish an inquiry under the Inquiries Act 1991 (“the Act”) into the public hospital system in the ACT with the following terms of reference, procedures and timelines:

Terms of reference

(1) to review and evaluate the internal governance and management practices and procedures of the public hospital system;

(2) to review and evaluate the organisational and administrative arrangements for the public hospital system within ACT Health;

(3) to assess the current impediments to the provision of hospital services to the population;

(4) to assess the adequacy of beds and related equipment, particularly in the hospital emergency departments;

(5) to assess the adequacy of suitably trained and qualified staff to provide the services required, particularly in the hospital emergency departments;

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