Page 1775 - Week 06 - Thursday, 14 May 2015

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This government demonstrated that our energy supplies can be clean as well as affordable. But this is only one side of the story. The other side, not as commonly reported, is Canberra’s ongoing emergence as an internationally recognised centre for renewable energy innovation and investment. The ACT continues to lead the nation, taking the initiative to build a high-skills clean energy economy, servicing national and, increasingly, international markets.

Our investments in renewables are stimulating investment in strategic priority areas of our economy—building local infrastructure, intellectual property, knowledge and skills of international significance which are creating long-term opportunities for exports and sustainable jobs growth.

Through this program we are helping to diversify our economy and building our claim to just a part of the $7 trillion expected to be invested in renewables globally over the next two decades. For example, the three new successful wind farms will be run from new management and operations headquarters located right here in Canberra. In the short term we expect these operations hubs will directly employ highly skilled full-time personnel, with employee numbers expected to grow substantially over time as new wind farms in Australia and overseas are developed and managed from these facilities.

Investments made by one of the successful wind auction proponents will help the Canberra Institute of Technology develop its new Renewable Energy Skills Centre of Excellence to target national and international students looking for hands-on learning in renewable energy asset development and management.

These are just a few examples of investments into the local economy as a direct outcome of the government’s policy of requiring successful bidders to demonstrate benefits to the ACT economy through inclusion of contractors and labour force, among other criteria designed to attract further investment, improve our research capacity and stimulate sustained job creation. The government and our community can be proud of our renewable energy record that has put Canberra at the forefront of renewable energy policy development in Australia.

Building on these achievements, this bill amends the Electricity Feed-in (Large-scale Renewable Energy Generation) Act 2011 and the Electricity Feed-in (Renewable Energy Premium) Act 2008 to update and further improve the effectiveness of these laws, and to streamline administrative issues that have been identified since the passage of these acts.

The number of amendments is small and they are primarily technical in nature. These amendments do not represent a change in existing government policy. Amendments to the large-scale feed-in tariff act will provide greater certainty to the territory and to generators supported under the act, should there be a change in commonwealth legislation.

The act currently depends on the continued functioning of the commonwealth’s Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000. These amendments allow the government to issue regulations to protect the territory’s interests if there is a change in the

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