Page 4297 - Week 13 - Thursday, 19 November 2015

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become storage units as well. The bigger the pipeline, the more you can store, so in the demand peaks, which again are morning and night—hot and cold—you can have the extra storage. Those facilities were put in place at great expense.

There are so many failures of good process in this motion—they start with the timing and some of the disingenuous ways that only the Greens’ chosen view of the world is presented as the only solution moving forward—that it must be rejected.

The tiff is on. Perhaps the gentlemen opposite could get together with some counselling and work out this sort of stuff before bringing it out in the public. I suspect that between now and 15 October next year there will be a whole lot more lovers tiffs—some real, some fabricated, some concocted. There will be a lot of brand differentiation, particularly between the two green warriors opposite, over who is more green and more friendly to the environment than the other. But it will always be done at the expense of the people of the ACT, the taxpayer. These two in particular are the ones most happy to spend taxpayers’ money on things they believe in. The benefit is always to their egos, but the cost is always to the taxpayer. You add it all up and it is claimed that it is only a cup of coffee a day or a bottle of sparkling water—it is not about dinner: there is a lot of coffee and water being consumed in the ACT—to fund the policies of those opposite. We will not be contributing to that by supporting this motion, so we shall vote against it.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (5.26), in reply: That has been quite a discussion. You know that you have brought up an interesting issue when the bulk of the response is personal derision and insult. But what we are really talking about here are serious issues of policy about our energy future in this territory. Whilst the invective is being directed at me, I will for the benefit of members quote from a number of submissions that other organisations have made to the submission process. I admit, as Mr Smyth observed, that I have come to this a bit late; and, yes, this issue has come on my radar, but that does not mean it is not still an important issue to discuss. There is still time to influence the final determination. If I had read the right report six months ago I would have got onto it, but the important point is that we need to talk about it now.

Let me quote from some of the organisations that have actually brought this issue to my attention. ACTCOSS, for example, in their submission to the gas distribution pricing determination said that their advocacy is based on certain principles, and one of those is:

Customers should not have to pay for infrastructure development that will not be able to be used for non-fossil fuel energy sources.

They go on to say:

ACTCOSS notes that the ACT has a policy and regulatory environment that anticipates 90% renewable energy sources by 2020. The strategy outlined by ACTEWAGL to build customer usage in areas that already have distribution infrastructure makes commercial sense in the coming price period. The plan to build distribution in new areas does not make sense, because this will potentially expose customers over the longer term (post 2020) to the risk of having to pay for “stranded infrastructure” that will not be useable once the 90% renewable target is required and/or when a carbon price is imposed.

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