Page 2631 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 5 June 2012

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State of the environment report 2011—government response

Paper and statement by minister

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development): I present the following paper:

Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment Act, pursuant to subsection 19(3)—Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment—State of the Environment Report 2011—Government response, dated June 2012.

I ask leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, I am pleased to table the government’s response to the ACT state of the environment report 2011 pursuant to section 19(3)(b) of the Commissioner for the Sustainability and the Environment Act 1993.

The government supports in principle all of the commissioner’s recommendations and has responded in detail to the five themes of land and water, biodiversity, air, climate and people. The government is pleased that it has already taken strong action in all of those areas and is continuing its solid record in delivering for our environment and for the territory community. It continues to deliver on its commitment to make a difference, to manage and protect our environment and to deliver quality outcomes for our community.

In one area in particular the government is leading the country. The government is leading the nation in energy emissions reduction and in supporting alternative energy production. In December last year passage of the Electricity Feed-in (Large-scale Renewable Energy Generation) Act authorised the territory to develop up to 210 megawatts of large-scale renewable energy generation capacity. The solar auction represents the release of the first 40 megawatts of capacity under the act.

In May this year I was pleased to be able to announce that this auction is proceeding to its final stage, with 22 proposals shortlisted to bid for feed-in tariff support to deliver real renewable energy generation in the ACT. The level of interest in the process is taking Canberra one step closer to becoming Australia’s solar capital and is demonstrating the government’s commitment to deliver large-scale solar projects for our community.

The 40 megawatts of capacity that the project will deliver is expected to result in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of more than 850,000 tonnes over the life of the generating assets. While the ACT is one of the smallest contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions, the territory has set ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets.

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