Page 842 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 27 February 2013

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MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, what impact studies have been conducted as to the effect on surrounding properties?

MR CORBELL: Those matters will need to be canvassed by FRV when they lodge their development application. I am not privy to material that they may have in development but which they have not yet lodged.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, can you explain the government’s policy in relation to large solar projects?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Porter for the question. The government’s commitment is to help the city make a transition to renewable energy generation. The development of the FRV solar project will be the largest solar power facility built in Australia to date when it is up and running in accordance with the time frame FRV have agreed with the government, the first quarter of next year.

The project is supported by a reverse auction feed-in tariff which ensures that large-scale renewable energy generation can be delivered at the cheapest price for consumers. I think that members opposite would have to acknowledge that a cost of only 25c per week per household, declining to an even lower figure as the cost of renewable energy moves closer to parity with fossil fuel energy, means that it is extremely good value for money for our community.

Of course, what it also does is make our city an early adapter. It makes our city a leader in deploying renewable energy generation for our own needs, it helps to contribute to our greenhouse gas emission targets and it also helps contribute to developing a new knowledge base in our city in this very important part of the new economy, which is the deployment of and the knowledge in how to deploy large-scale renewable energy generation.

The government is progressing with the next stage of its solar auction process, with a further 20 megawatts of renewable energy generation due to be determined for potential allocation in the coming months. That will potentially see at least one more plant equivalent to the size of the FRV plant established or, in the alternative, a number of smaller plants that may add up to a total of 20 megawatts in capacity.

Of course, this is contingent on the government receiving competitive bids from the market. We look forward to seeing those results.

Australian tourism awards

DR BOURKE: My question is to the Minister for Tourism and Events. Could the minister update the Assembly on Canberra’s recent success at the Australian tourism awards in Hobart?

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