Page 1801 - Week 05 - Thursday, 2 April 2009

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We really have seen a significant uptake in green power here in the ACT. In 2004 we had just over 5,700 Canberrans sign up to green power. By 2007 that had increased to over 10,000 customers and, importantly, the amount of green power purchased during this time has almost trebled from just over 30,000 megawatts to 91,000 megawatts—in fact very close to 92,000 megawatts.

What this demonstrates is that Canberrans are more and more aware of the fact that green power is an important product and an important way that they can make a contribution to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, and as of yesterday they will receive a very timely reminder each and every time they ring up to connect or reconnect their electricity. They will be required by their retailer to be given information on the green power choices available to them. It is an important issue and one which will make it easier for Canberrans to switch to green power.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Porter, a supplementary question?

MS PORTER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, can you advise any difficulty the government is aware of that would impede the promotion of this initiative?

MR CORBELL: Yes. I regret to say the government is aware of potential impediments that may impact on the ability to promote this initiative. I would refer members to the excellent advertising material that is being made available to promote this initiative to consumers and raise their awareness of it. Of course, the scheme is titled “we’re making the switch”. If I recall correctly, which I think I do, that is a slogan and that sort of slogan would be prohibited under the provisions of Mr Seselja’s legislation which the Assembly has seen fit to refer to a committee.

Of course there are other very important types of messages being got across, for example, can you make the switch—and this postcard will be distributed in the ACT—encouraging Canberrans to consider green power. Because it is a slogan and it employs clever advertising devices such as a graphic, it will, unfortunately, be prohibited under Mr Seselja’s legislation.

What this highlights is that there are some real, serious and legitimate concerns that the government has about its ability to promote valuable schemes such as green power if we have to face the absurd and draconian provisions that Mr Seselja is proposing in relation to his legislation. Is the Liberal Party seriously saying that we cannot go out and promote green power and encourage Canberrans to make the switch?

We can also refer to other sustainability issues that the government has. Let us think about it. We have the water initiatives: stop the drop—that would be put in jeopardy—and save water for life. Actew’s campaign to encourage Canberrans to save water would, again, be in jeopardy under the Liberals’ provisions. Indeed, “making the switch to green power” and “think water, act water” are all slogans, jingles or advertising provisions that would be put in jeopardy.

Mr Seselja should understand that the provisions that he is proposing will put in jeopardy this type of promotion, will put in jeopardy our ability to convince

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