Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 5 August 2015) . . Page.. 2335 ..
MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Racing and Gaming and Minister for the Arts) (3.19): I am very pleased that Ms Porter brought this motion on today. I support the motion and will not be supporting Ms Lawder’s amendment.
As Ms Porter’s motion points out, the ACT government has established a nation-leading target of 90 per cent of renewable energy. This stands in stark contrast to the federal government and their continued attacks on renewable energy. The federal government’s draft directive also stands in the way of innovative Australian businesses and others keen to invest in renewable energy.
Canberra is the national and international hub for renewable energy, and I am proud to be part of a government that has prioritised renewable energy. Indeed, I believe that it is the only responsible thing a government can do, given the challenges that climate change continues to present to us. The science of climate change is a fact that is no longer a debating point. Actions must be taken at every level of government to confront the challenge.
The community agrees with this government’s approach to renewable energy with 80 per cent supporting ACT government action on climate change and with 93 per cent supporting our plans to promote new energy technology. As Ms Porter’s motion points out, the ACT is on track to achieving this target and is expected to secure 65 per cent of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources by 2017.
Our public schools are playing their part to ensure that they can operate in a carbon-constrained world and support the government’s renewable energy targets. I am pleased to detail for the Assembly the work being undertaken by the Education and Training Directorate in both supporting renewable energy and improving energy efficiency in our public schools.
In the area of renewable energy our public schools lead the way. We are the first jurisdiction where all schools have roof-mounted solar panels. There has been significant investment in roof-mounted solar panels with a minimum of 10 kilowatts being installed across our public schools. These were installed using funds under the ACT solar schools program and the national solar schools program. A total of $2 million was allocated in the 2009-10 budget for the program, and the Education and Training Directorate assisted schools to secure $2.3 million in grant funds under the Australian government’s national solar schools program.
The ACT government continues to expand the investment in rooftop solar panels at ACT public schools, with the installation of 70-kilowatt systems completed at Neville Bonner primary and Franklin Early Childhood Centre in May of this year, and a 176-kilowatt system completed at the Hedley Beare Centre for Teaching and Learning in July this year. Based on 2014 electricity consumption the Franklin Early