Page 331 - Week 01 - Thursday, 17 February 2011

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being implemented in this bill today do not add any further cost burden on Canberrans than the cost burden already factored into the Australian Energy Regulator’s determination when the scheme first commenced in 2009—not a single cent more, as a result of that Australian Energy Regulator determination.

The current cost to households is about 20c per household per week. That is anticipated to rise, under the current allocations as proposed in this bill, to a maximum cost per household of an extra $1 per household per week—less than the price of a takeaway cup of coffee per week per household. Is there a price increase? Yes. Is it a reasonable increase to drive economic activity in renewable generation? Is it a reasonable increase to help make the shift towards renewable energy and help reduce our greenhouse gas emissions? Yes, it is. Yes, it is; and it is a cost that we believe Canberrans support because they want to see a city that creates green jobs for their kids and their economic futures. They want to create a greener economy. They want to create the type of green economy that Mrs Dunne felt so proud of. They want to create the green economy and they see the feed-in tariff as an important tool in addressing that.

We know that the Liberal Party are divided on this issue. We have got Mrs Dunne in 2008 saying:

The feed-in tariff will be an important tool in addressing the issues in relation to turning the ACT economy into a greener economy.

Mr Seselja—

Mr Smyth: Good try, Simon. You know he is desperate when he is quoting the Liberal Party—

MR CORBELL: Obviously Mr Seselja and Mr Smyth do not like that criticism. Maybe they do not agree with Mrs Dunne. It would be interesting to hear what Mrs Dunne has to say now. Does she support her leader on this or does she stand by what she said in this chamber in 2008? That is the challenge now for the Liberal Party. Do they stand by the comments of their then shadow minister in 2008 or has she been overruled? Has the position changed?

Let us talk about some other issues about cost. Again, I draw members’ attention to the Liberal Party’s position on this issue of cost and the cost of abatement per tonne that Mr Seselja speaks so much about. What did the Liberal Party say in 2008 on this issue? What did they say about the cost of abatement then? They certainly recognised that the cost of abatement was higher compared to other measures, and the government agrees that it is. But we still see renewable energy generation as a very important part of the mix in helping to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

Back in 2008 the Liberal Party said very clearly that, whilst there was a cost, and the cost per abatement was higher than other measures, “We go into this with our eyes open.” That is what Mrs Dunne said in 2008:

… we go into this with our eyes open …

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