Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 5 August 2015) . . Page.. 2316 ..

give certainty in jobs and investment in wind energy generation in Australia and, notably, here in the surrounding Australian capital region. That claim may have some veracity, but only if you ignore all the comments that have come out of the federal leadership of the parliamentary Liberal Party over the past couple of months. The Prime Minister has said he would have cut the RET further if he was allowed to. The Treasurer has said he hates wind farms and does not think there should be any investment in them.

The RET has been cut—let us be very clear about that. The RET was not about 20 per cent renewable by 2020, even though that was the shorthand term lent to the target in the legislation. The target in the legislation was actually 43,000 gigawatt hours by 2020. The federal Liberal government cut that to 33,000. They can say, “Oh, we’ve still got 20 per cent,” but, no, they have cut it. The target in the legislation was not in percentage terms; it was in gigawatt hour terms, and it has been reduced. They have cut the target, and on top of that they have sent every possible message about why you should not invest in renewable energy, particularly wind.

On top of that again, you have the ridiculous situation where there is a report from a Senate committee recommending, regardless of what organisations like the National Health and Medical Research Council and others say is very clear—that there is no medical evidence that wind farms generate noise that causes damage to human health—a whole new regime because of this so-called harm which no credible scientist is prepared to put their name to.

That is the environment this federal Liberal Party has created in our nation. It is unprecedented in the world—unprecedented. Tony Abbott said on the day that he was elected Prime Minister that he wanted Australia to be open for business. He should have put a little disclaimer against that, because it was open for business unless you are involved in the renewable energy sector, in which case the message is clearly, “We’re open for business but we’re going to shut you down.” That is exactly what has been going on ever since their election.

The losers in this are ordinary Australians. They will not have the same opportunities to develop the skills, experience and technical expertise needed to compete in this massive change in the global economy and all the economic opportunity that will come from that. At the same time, with over two-thirds of coal-fired generation in Australia at the end of its economic life right now and needing to be replaced, we will not have the skills, expertise or investment pipeline needed to replace that with cleaner forms of energy generation. Ms Lawder’s amendment should not be supported. (Time expired.)

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (12.16): Unlike the federal Liberal government’s grudging, spiteful attitude, the ACT government is taking the need for action on climate change seriously. At the same time as we build our reliance on renewable energy, we are growing our renewable energy sector in Canberra. I am proud that the high-tech CIT Bruce campus in my electorate is well placed, thanks to the vision of our government, to be at the centre of training and innovation in the renewable industry.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video