Page 3259 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 17 September 2013

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MR CORBELL: No, because before a bid is made in the auction process the government is not aware of the intentions of developers.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, when did you first become aware that the proposed location of one of these large-scale solar projects was only 100 metres away from homes in the Uriarra Village?

MR CORBELL: I became aware once I received the recommendations of the expert advisory panel that recommended to me who should be considered for an awarding of a fit entitlement consistent with the solar option legislation.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, what discussions did you or your directorate have with the proponents prior to the solar auction about the suitability of the sites they selected?

MR CORBELL: I had no discussions with this proponent prior to the commencement of the solar auction. I only became aware of the circumstances of the proposed site when it was recommended to me by the expert advisory panel.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, how important is it to encourage solar uptake across the territory?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. This, of course, is central to the question of the impact of climate change on our community. Of course, as I said in my earlier answer to Mr Coe, we are a very vulnerable city to the extremes of variability in climate. More hot weather, heightened bushfire risk, and more full-on drought or severe flood or storm events, have a particular, real and immediate impact on our community, particularly on communities on the western side of the ACT like Uriarra Village. Their heightened risk of bushfire, flood and storm means that as a city we should be doing everything we can to ameliorate the impacts of climate change and address our city’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The government’s solar auction process has been recognised nationally and internationally as one of the best examples for driving the uptake of large-scale renewable energy. We have a 40 per cent greenhouse gas reduction target and we have a 90 per cent renewable energy target. These three plants, if they are approved and developed, will deliver 1.4 million tonnes worth of greenhouse gas abatement. And they will do so at a very affordable price to consumers—a very affordable price to consumers.

The point of the solar auction process is to deliver value for money when it comes to renewable energy. If these projects are approved, we will be host to three of the largest solar renewable projects in the country—something that we can be very proud

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