Page 2295 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 5 August 2015

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Renewable energy

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (10.57): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes that:

(a) the Federal Government has issued a draft directive banning the Clean Energy Finance Corporation from investing in new wind farms and small scale solar projects;

(b) that in contrast, the ACT Government has established a nation-leading target of 90% renewable energy generation by 2020;

(c) the ACT is on track to achieving this target and is expected to secure 65% of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2017;

(d) the ACT Government has announced that it will undertake a second wind energy reverse auction later this year to secure more renewable energy generation toward the 90% target; and

(e) by continuing to invest in renewable energy the ACT will benefit from significant economic and jobs growth, with the first wind auction securing $50 million in direct investment and $240 million in broader economic benefits for the ACT; and

(2) calls on the Federal Government to stop their continued attacks on renewable energy which is putting renewable energy jobs and projects at risk.

I am pleased to move this motion today. For a long time we on this side have held the view that the debate on whether climate change is real was settled long ago. The debate has now shifted to what is the most effective and efficient action we can collectively take to address this very real and critical challenge. That is why this Labor government has made a conscious decision to be a responsible global citizen and do the right thing, because it is time for action, not for retreat. However, since the coalition formed government federally in 2013, things have changed for the worse. We are now witnessing a so-called grown-up government moving Australia back to the Dark Ages. The Prime Minister has come out openly and aligned himself and his government to the coal industry. He is on record as having stated when opening a new coal mine in Central Queensland late last year that “coal is good for humanity”. He went on to prophesise that coal will be the world’s main energy source for decades to come.

Do these statements from the Prime Minister of Australia pass the sniff test? The powering up against poverty study, a report by Oxfam, a leading organisation in its field, does not agree. The report argues that, contrary to the Prime Minister’s statement, the continued embrace of coal exports is out of step with an international shift towards clean energy. It stresses that embracing coal would do little to help those who do not have electricity to light their homes or cook food. The report goes on to

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