Page 2067 - Week 07 - Thursday, 4 June 2015

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Members may recall that on 30 June 2011 the opposition and the Greens jointly passed amendments to the FiT legislation which were not supported by the government at the time and which had the effect of combining the micro and medium categories, hence reopening the scheme to rooftop installations. As was predicted by the government during that debate, the results of these amendments were, to say the least, odd. The amendments were enacted on 12 July and the capacity was exceeded the following day, causing the scheme as a whole to be closed. Contrary to the intent of the amendments, households were not beneficiaries of the change as the remaining capacity was swallowed up in the two-day period by businesses submitting applications under the former medium-scale scheme.

The government is committed to protecting people who had proceeded in good faith in relation to both of these schemes and had already committed to an installation and the government has made provisions that allowed these households to submit an application by 29 July 2011. These further amendments put forward by the government today give legislative affect to this period of grace. For small-scale renewable generators the bill currently requires these applications to have been received by the distributor before 29 May 2011. These amendments change this to allow households to have submitted their application by the end of the grace period, that is, by 29 July 2011.

I am sure all members can agree that these minor amendments give effect to previous government announcements and ensure that householders currently eligible for FiT payments are not inadvertently disadvantaged by the bill.

Amendments agreed to.

Clause 12, as amended, agreed to.

Remainder of bill, by leave, taken as a whole and agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Sitting suspended from 12.24 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Housing—first home owners

MR HANSON: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, on 1 September 2013, with great fanfare, you announced that the first home owners grant would be $12,500. You said at the time that this would “help many Canberrans fulfil the dream of living in their own home” and lead to “improved housing affordability for all Canberrans”. Treasurer, why are you now cutting the grant for people and making it harder for them to “fulfil the dream of living in their own home”?

MR BARR: The government provided a boost to the first home owners grant in 2013 as a stimulus measure. That period will gradually be wound down, commencing with a reduction in the grant from $12,500 to $10,000 in about seven months time and then,

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