Page 307 - Week 01 - Thursday, 27 February 2014
But it is very clear that we have a great organisation here in the ACT—the Canberra Institute of Technology. Its enrolments, as I understand, are very strong. Its offerings are very attractive to our Canberra community and region. They have a strong place in making sure that this city and this region are prepared in an education sense and in a working with industry sense. It will do all it can to look after its workforce and make sure it continues to be the premier institution—
Mr Doszpot interjecting—
MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Doszpot!
MS BURCH: that it is.
DR BOURKE: My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development. Minister, a headline commitment under the action plan 2, the climate change action plan, was to achieve a 90 per cent renewable energy target for the ACT by 2020. As it is now over a year since AP2 was adopted, are you able to advise the Assembly as to how we are progressing towards meeting this target?
MR CORBELL: I thank Dr Bourke for his question. Yes, the government is making significant progress in the implementation of actions that are set out in action plan 2, the government’s action plan to implement measures and policies to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent on the 1990 baseline year by the year 2020.
We need, of course, to do this work, because as a city we have a very high level per capita of greenhouse gas emissions. The government has set out a range of measures to achieve this. Since action plan 2 was released we have, first of all, put in place a range of measures to help home owners, to help commercial business operators to save money on their electricity bills and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. For example, we are running the ACTSmart program, reaching out to hundreds of Canberra businesses with programs to help them upgrade their refrigeration, their electrical systems, their lighting systems, to save money and reduce their energy consumption. Those programs have been overwhelmingly well received by small and medium business operators in our city.
We have implemented the energy efficiency improvement scheme, which is going to reach out to over 70,000 Canberra households and provide them with free or subsidised energy efficiency services, energy saving devices. Those programs have already reached 10,000 Canberra households. They are delivering savings of the equivalent of around $300 off household electricity bills, and they are going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around three-quarters of a million tonnes.
Finally, we are moving ahead with the deployment of renewable energy for our city. The government, through the solar auction process, has demonstrated how you can deliver large-scale renewable at an affordable price for Canberrans. We see the Royalla solar project now well underway south of Tuggeranong, adjacent to Royalla,