Page 4296 - Week 13 - Thursday, 19 November 2015

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be unrest in the household opposite. Perhaps it has got a little bit to do with 331 days from now when we are going to have an election and there is somebody sitting on the crossbench who is a bit anxious about his brand differentiation because there is not one anymore. He is well and truly wedded to the government; he is well and truly part of the government. There he is, suddenly realising, “Oh my God, there’s an election and all I’ve done is give the government what they want. So now I’m going to pick an issue that I can stand up for and be different to the government on.” What a silly issue. What an approach to take where he now disregards most of the facts and does not put an alternative case. All he wants to do really is affect the cost of living of many Canberrans who are already connected to the network. Some of the points in the motion are quite extraordinary, for example:

predicted gas rises in the medium to long-term could leave some gas consumers disadvantaged.

My understanding is that the price is coming down. The gas price often follows the petrol price quite closely. We know that the pressure is off on crude and gas prices are coming down. There is talk about capacity. The Darwin pipeline is soon to be finished and that will provide extra capacity. If your issue is price and capacity, in some cases they are being addressed.

Then there is the notion that gas appliances are not energy efficient. Like all serious providers, the firms have been looking at what they can provide. I am told that in some cases they have dropped to 30 per cent of usage of gas for the same output of heat. There are options here. The problems still exist. I do not know anybody who does not like the idea of sustainable energy resources coming into play, but you have still got peak load. At times like that, having a percentage of your population on gas can actually assist with sharing the burden, whether it be a gas hot water service, gas heating or indeed gas cooking in your home, particularly at the two peaks—morning and night—when it is hot and when it is cold and when it is starting to get dark and when it is starting to get light. You have the peaks and troughs. We look at things like the increased efficiencies of electric heating technologies. There are increased efficiencies in gas heating technologies as well, which the member refuses to speak to.

You have to question what the point of this is. It is very late in the piece. In fact, the draft decision comes out on Thursday. It is pretty effective to put a motion in the Assembly to talk about the future of gas and gas infrastructure in the ACT, as Mr Corbell points out, right before the Christmas break! I think it is next Thursday that the draft determination comes out. If you were genuinely interested in this, would you not have tried to influence the draft decision instead of trying to play catch up? He has either taken his eye off the ball and is too busy with other things or suddenly realised that, with less than a year to go, a little bit of brand differentiation is required.

We will not be supporting the motion today, particularly in a climate like the ACT and the ability to have some of the pressure taken off the electricity grid. Let us face it: Canberra has extremes. It is very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter. It is important that we have options. I can remember years ago that we doubled the capacity of the pipeline into Canberra. In the late 1990s, or maybe early 2000s, there were some supply problems. The pipelines that come from the gas fields actually

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