Page 2310 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 5 August 2015

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This sort of message from the federal government causes uncertainty in the renewable market and costs jobs. The cost of the attitude of the Liberal Party currently stands at 2,300 jobs in the 2013-14 financial year alone. 800,000 jobs were created in the renewable energy sector globally between 2012 and 2013. In 2014 the US solar industry added over 31,000 new solar jobs, an increase of 21.8 per cent on the previous year. Jobs in the renewable energy sector fell by 13 per cent in Australia in 2013 while global employment grew by the same amount.

In 2014 clean energy investment grew in China by 32 per cent, in the United States by eight per cent, in Japan by 12 per cent, in Germany by three per cent and in the UK by three per cent. However, it fell by 35 per cent in Australia due to policy uncertainty from the Liberal Party.

It is currently more important than ever that the states and territories of this nation invest in and lead the way in the development of renewable energy. The comments made by both the Prime Minister and the Treasurer about the wind farm visible from the Federal Highway are simply astounding. I find the view of the wind farm from across Lake George to be graceful and enjoyable. It represents a massive feat of engineering and a sustainable future. In fact, generally it is amazing how far renewable energy technology has come in the last few decades. These technologies are now more productive than ever.

A 2014 report by the IPCC which came out in March of that year explains that in south-eastern Australia the impacts of climate change have already been seen on food production, terrestrial ecosystems and on aquatic ecosystems such as rivers and lakes as well. The federal Department of the Environment states that annual rainfall could decline by up to 10 per cent by 2030 and 25 per cent by 2070 in relation to 1990 levels. Given that water security has been an issue raised in this place in the past, the potential for future issues is very worrying.

This motion outlines the exciting fact that the ACT is on track to achieve a goal of 90 per cent of electricity from renewable sources by 2020. It is especially exciting that it is only five years away. In only two years from now we will be at least at 65 per cent—well over half. This will be achieved in part through the latest wind energy reverse auction due to be undertaken by the government later this year.

I am passionate about planning for the future of the ACT and this country, planning for generations who will take our places in the years to come. Renewable energy helps to secure this future for them. It was the forward thinking and planning by the ACT Labor government which led to the introduction of the original feed-in tariff in 2008. I was extremely proud to introduce this legislation and it is great to see the way in which it has helped the development of renewable energy in the ACT to where we stand today.

The ACT is doing well in its move towards renewable energy. Eighty-seven per cent of people surveyed by the Environment and Planning Directorate in 2013 were supportive of the government’s plan for tackling emissions, and this is indicative of how strongly the community feels when it comes to tackling climate change. This is something that the federal government does not appear to understand.

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