Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 2 April 2009) . . Page.. 1800 ..
Mr Seselja: Otherwise they might have built houses in the bush.
MR STANHOPE: It is about the business of government. It is about planning for the future. Indeed, Ms Bresnan, it is fair to say that the government has given detailed consideration to the possibility of ensuring that there is the capacity for dedicated transport infrastructure to be developed between Belconnen and the city. Certainly it is work that needs to be expanded and work that needs to incorporate the rest of the ACT. It is a very significant achievement by this government—indeed by the former minister for planning, Mr Corbell—to have the foresight to follow through on some very important planning work so that we are prepared for the day when we can either enhance our public bus network or, at a time when we as a jurisdiction have the capacity and the resources to perhaps invest in light rail, have the capacity to deliver it.
Yes, significant work has been done. But in the context of the immediate capital works that have been pursued in the Belconnen town centre, in the Belconnen area, as a result of the proposal to decommission the Belconnen bus interchange, there is no work being undertaken at this stage. There is no investment. There is no capital investment in some significant and enhanced—and in some regards temporary—infrastructure that is being currently delivered as a result of the decommissioning of the Belconnen busway in, we believe at this stage, a date in May.
MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water. Can the minister outline what the government is doing to encourage Canberrans to make the switch to greener energy?
MR CORBELL: I am very pleased to get this question from Ms Porter because it does give me the opportunity—
Opposition members interjecting—
MR CORBELL: to comment on steps the government is taking to improve information to consumers on the choices they have to take up green power. It is disappointing that the Liberal Party think this is some sort of a joke, but for over 10,000 Canberrans now making the choice to adopt green power it is a real and legitimate one that they have wholeheartedly embraced.
Earlier this week I announced that the government has taken the next step in that process by requiring, as of 1 April—that is, yesterday—that all electricity suppliers in the ACT offer a green power product to all new or reconnecting electricity customers as their first offer of a power product. This is designed to encourage consumers to choose green power ahead of other power products. To date it has not been an obligation on the part of electricity retailers to say to a consumer who rings up and says they want to connect or reconnect with them as their provider: “Have you thought about green power?” and “This is how much it costs and this is what it means for you and for the environment.” But, as of yesterday, that is the case. It is now compulsory for electricity retailers to make that offer as a first offer to consumers.