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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 5 August 2015) . . Page.. 2298 ..

I will talk about a couple of stories that are really heart warming. Recently on the ABC’s Foreign Correspondent program I saw an Australian renewable energy company, Pollinate Energy, founded by five young Australians, making a difference in India. Pollinate Energy co-founder Ms Kate Kimmorley stated that 400 million people are living in Indian slums who do not have access to electricity. She said these people face many problems, one of them being the lack of electricity, and she added that something as simple as a light could change someone’s life in many ways. By providing a light children are going to school and mums are working in the evening. Before they had to see by using a dangerous kerosene lamp or even no light, but certainly poor light at best.

I am also reminded of a TED Talk program I watched recently featuring a 13-year-old Kenyan young man, Richard Turere, who lives in the Kenyan savannah next to a natural park. To save his parents’ cattle from lions, Turere applied his self-taught skills in electronics to invent a practical way to achieve this. He figured out how to fix and make electronics through dismantling several thousand appliances and eventually invented the lion lights. By emitting intermittent light flashes, Turere can convince the lions which were after his family’s cattle that it was best to stay away. Turere used solar panels to charge the car battery that powered the lights. At the end of his talk he states:

I used to hate lions, but now because my invention is saving my father’s cows and the lions, we are able to stay with the lions without any conflict.

That is leadership. Not only has he saved his family’s cattle but also those of many more farmers as his idea is adopted by many more. These two examples show that renewable energy is transforming the lives of the most marginalised. It is enabling them to improve their way of life by alleviating the health impacts of burning fossil fuels and wood fires in the home, and saving the family’s livelihood in the case of Turere.

As I stated in my speech earlier, it shows real leadership to make a difference. This can be done in small ways or it can be done in very significant ways. Australia has an opportunity to provide leadership in finding solutions. It is in consideration of all this that we urge the federal government to stop their continued attack on renewable energy which is putting renewable energy jobs, projects and research at great risk and taking us back—excuse the pun—light years.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Capital Metro) (11.10): I would like to thank Ms Porter for bringing forward her motion today. Her motion speaks to the importance of switching to renewable energy generation as part of our plan for a low carbon future as a city, making sure that consumers are not held hostage to higher cost energy generation into the future—that is, higher cost fossil fuel energy generation—and, importantly, recognising the significant economic benefits that will flow to our city as a result of investing in large-scale renewable energy generation now.

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