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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 9 April 2008) . . Page.. 1163 ..

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

The Assembly met at 10.30 am.

(Quorum formed.)

MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the chair and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Electricity Feed-in (Renewable Energy Premium) Bill 2008

Mr Gentleman, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (10.32): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Members would be aware that in November last year I released an exposure draft on the ACT renewable energy electricity generation scheme, or what is commonly known as a feed-in law. I have researched this proposal extensively to ensure that the legislation I am tabling today contains the essential elements of an effective feed-in law. Those key elements provided to me by the father of the feed-in law, Hermann Scheer, are that the grid operator must connect providers, that the grid operator must purchase the electricity produced, and that the rate must provide a reasonable incentive. This bill includes those key principles.

During the last few months, I have sought feedback from interest groups, experts and the community about this proposal. Throughout the community consultation I was overwhelmed by the high level of public support and enthusiasm for this bill. Over 300 people attended the public forums and my office received 26 formal submissions, none of which were opposed to the idea of a feed-in law. Adding to this feedback, over 40 submissions were presented to the Chief Minister’s discussion process.

It is important to acknowledge that, among others, supportive submissions were received from Greenpeace, the Conservation Council, ACTCOSS, the Alternative Technology Association, Bill Gresham and Ben Elliston from the Australia New Zealand Solar Energy Society, and Wieslaw Lichacz from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This list clearly displays a diverse range of interest groups, again highlighting the community support for this bill.

In my consultation with ACTCOSS and the Conservation Council, several suggestions were made to ensure that members of the community eligible for concession discounts would not be disadvantaged over other consumers by this bill. I believe we have addressed this issue within the bill in its final form. One element of the legislation asks that all electricity users in the ACT should contribute to the

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