Page 3001 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 15 September 2015

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Of course, the government continues to roll out its initiatives to meet our 90 per cent renewable energy target. We have two other large-scale solar projects that are close to commencing their construction phases. That is a very welcome development as well. That will see a further 20 megawatts delivered through those two projects. And there are the government’s initiatives in terms of supporting further rounds of wind energy generation through a wind auction process which is currently underway and the very positive response that the government received from a very large number of companies with individual proposals for the 50 megawatts of next generation solar with storage.

Combined, we are showing Australia what can be realised when it comes to investment in renewable energy generation. We are showing that we can make the shift to a low carbon future, that we can do it in a very affordable way, in a very timely and effective way, with a mechanism that the market understands and at the same time securing jobs and investment in our city. These are the policies we need for our city’s future. (Time expired.)

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, how is the ACT tracking to meet the renewable energy target by 2020?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Porter for her supplementary. How are we tracking? From 2017 more than a quarter of Canberra’s total electricity supply will be sourced from the three wind farms selected through the first wind auction process—so more than a quarter just from those three wind projects. That is enough electricity to power up to 106,000 Canberra homes. It results in a 580,000 tonne reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions each and every year, which is the equivalent of taking more than 157,000 cars off the road annually.

There are people in this chamber and elsewhere who said it could not be done and who said we could not drive down our emissions in the manner set in the target in the greenhouse gas legislation. They said it could not be done. They said it was not possible. We are showing it is possible. We are demonstrating that this can be done, and we are doing it in a way which is affordable and achievable and which is seeing investment in jobs and investment in the local economy as well—a great win for our city.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Fitzharris.

MS FITZHARRIS: Minister, how will the ACT economy benefit from continued investment in renewable energy?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Fitzharris for her supplementary. In addition of course to the benefits I have talked about in relation to, say, the local Canberra company Windlab, it is worth highlighting that over the last four years renewable energy jobs in Canberra have grown by over 400 per cent—and that is at a time when, due to the hostility of the Liberal Party nationally, jobs in renewable energy fell nationally across the economy. So we are growing investment in jobs for the renewable energy sector.

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