Page 209 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 10 December 2008

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of their first choice, then their second. Of course, it is worth noting, and I am sure anyone who has been educated in the ACT system would know, that from time to time it is not always possible that you get your first choice in electives, given that there are some courses that are very popular within our school system.

Electricity—feed-in tariff

MS BURCH: My question is to the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water. Minister, can you please inform the Assembly on the progress of the government’s implementation of the feed-in tariff?

MR CORBELL: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I thank Ms Burch for the question. I am pleased to report to the Assembly on the government’s progress in implementing our nation-leading feed-in tariff.

The feed-in tariff scheme was passed by the Assembly in July 2008 and was initially due to be implemented by the middle of next year. In accordance with the agreements the government has entered into, I am pleased to report that the feed-in tariff is on track to be implemented by 1 March next year.

This important piece of legislation will, for the first time, provide a real incentive for households and small to medium building owners to install renewable energy generation and receive a premium price for the energy that is created through those installations.

This new regime does require a range of amendments before it can be made operational. I can inform the Assembly that the government intends to introduce an amendment bill early next year to provide for a range of matters, including capping the scheme, clarifying generator eligibility and reimbursement arrangements. This will ensure clarity and consistency in application of the tariff prior to its implementation.

The government is also very keen to ensure that householders and the broader community are aware of how the scheme will operate. To that end, the new Department of Environment, Climate Change, Energy and Water will be undertaking a public education campaign from the beginning of next year to outline the various aspects of the operation of the feed-in tariff and how householders and other building owners can take advantage of that.

It is one of the 43 strategies outlined in the ACT government’s climate change strategy, Weathering the change. This important piece of legislation will mean that for the first time householders will get a real and significant incentive to install photovoltaic or other forms of renewable energy generation on their roof. They will be paid at the gross amount for the production or generation of that energy and they will be able to offset that against the cost of their electricity bills.

I have to say that the government is continuing to receive a high level of inquiries from members of the public, indeed, other entities—private building owners and so on—as to how and when the scheme will be introduced. It is going to serve as a very real and significant kick along in the development of a renewable energy industry here

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