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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 5 August 2015) . . Page.. 2303 ..

The Canberra Liberals are not opposed to renewable energy. I agree with some of Ms Porter’s comments. Comments by some—for example, that coal is good for humanity—and criticisms of wind farms as being unattractive or a blight on the landscape are not helpful or useful. I disagree with those comments. But on clean energy, the CEFC directive, Mr Abbott himself said that it is not useful to invest in established technologies that can easily attract private funding. As long ago as 2010, Mr Corbell said:

… the ACT Government is … focusing on large scale renewable energy generation.

Mr Corbell went on to say that “we’re shifting our emphasis to large scale renewable energy generation,” which includes large-scale rooftop, “on office buildings and factories and so on and to proper large scale solar farms as well”. Yet when the federal Liberal government agrees that the focus for the CEFC should not include technologies that are quite common today and should focus instead on innovation, Mr Corbell and his colleagues are quick to criticise.

In conclusion, the amendment, which encapsulates much of the original motion, is calling on the ACT government to provide a progress report on how it is tracking towards achieving its set target of 90 per cent renewable energy generation by 2020 and the claim of 65 per cent renewable energy generation by 2017. I commend the amendment to the Assembly.

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Minister for Housing, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Community Services, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Women and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Social Inclusion and Equality) (11.26): Thank you for bringing on this motion. What a contrast it paints between policies which look to the future and those which look to the past. At both the territory and federal levels of government there is a great gap between the major parties as Labor looks to a lower carbon future with new jobs, new technologies and new export opportunities while the Liberal Party stands in the way of job creation and greenhouse gas reduction.

Here in the ACT our community believes the science on climate change and believes in taking action. Some three in four Canberrans see it as important for the ACT government to take action, to tackle climate change. And 81 per cent support the ACT government taking a strong leadership role. More than 90 per cent support the government’s plan to demonstrate and promote new energy technology. It is safe to say that this includes solar and wind energy technologies.

It seems that most people do not find these energy sources as offensive as the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, or Treasurer Hockey do. It is particularly good to hear today that Ms Lawder also does not share the views of Mr Hockey or Mr Abbott. Most people can see far enough ahead to know that for the good of future generations the time to lower carbon levels is now. Australian can and should be a global leader in this movement. We have been described as the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy sources if we are smart enough to make the most of them.

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