Page 2309 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 5 August 2015

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Now that the new target is agreed nationally, projects will be invigorated. But make no mistake: the reduced target will slow the uptake of renewables in Australia. Unfortunately, the policy only lasts until 2020, and who knows what will follow in terms of the policies that will be rolled out in the next two terms of federal government. The Greens have a policy to power Australia with at least 90 per cent renewable energy by 2030 by increasing the renewable energy target. This will give investors the certainty and stability they need to plan.

The federal ALP has recently announced a plan to deliver 50 per cent renewable by 2030, so at least renewable energy will be on the increase over the next decade if they are elected. But who knows what the coalition will come up with or what damage they will wreak during the decade by undoing ALP policies as they did with the carbon tax and the package that went with it.

As opposed to the federal government, here in the ACT we have also sent a strong message to the renewable sector that we are open for business and that we value the development of renewable energy sector. Our 40 per cent climate greenhouse reduction target with the 90 per cent renewable energy target has given that signal very clearly. At the federal level we are seeing the government repealing a carbon tax, wanting to abolish ARENA, wanting to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, cutting the renewable energy target and cutting funding for climate science at CSIRO.

Of course, if you are going to be a denier, you want to be consistent in not having the scientists point that out to you too clearly. The ACT stands alone as the only jurisdiction in Australia that has taken the science seriously with our 40 per cent greenhouse gas reduction target, our 90 per cent renewable energy target and our carbon-neutral government by 2020 intention. I am proud to be a part of a government that is delivering those policy objections.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Planning, Minister for Roads and Parking, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations, Minister for Children and Young People and Minister for Ageing) (11.47): Madam Deputy Speaker, it is great to be able to rise today to talk about your motion and the serious issue of climate change across the world. All governments need to work together to overcome this issue of climate change. This government is committed to acting, despite the lack of commitment which emanates from the current federal government. Listening here today, I hear such commitment and fervour towards cutting emissions from this side of the chamber, and I commend my colleagues for this. What a contrasting set of ideas to Prime Minister Abbott’s view that “the climate change argument is absolute crap”.

The weather events that have already been seen around the world and in Australia show the dire need to reduce our carbon emissions. There is no denying it. Experts are as sure about climate change as they are about the negative effects of smoking. I will not go so far as to link Mr Abbott to questions about smoking’s ill effects, but the level to which his climate denial is ridiculous is very evident.

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