Page 1664 - Week 05 - Thursday, 5 May 2016

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Madam Deputy Speaker, members would be aware that I have written to representatives of the opposition and the crossbench last week advising them of the government’s intention to bring forward this bill in this sitting week. I have outlined the reasons for that in my correspondence to members, and I simply reiterate that the government is keen to pursue debate on this bill this week to take advantage of the timing available to procure a further 91 megawatts of large-scale wind or solar generation so as to be able to secure sufficient generation to achieve 100 per cent renewable energy target by the year 2020.

Question resolved in the affirmative, with the concurrence of an absolute majority.

Renewable Energy Legislation Amendment Bill 2016

Debate resumed from 3 May 2016, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (5.43): This bill increases the total capacity of the generating systems of large-scale renewable energy generators in relation to which feed-in entitlements may be held under the Electricity Feed-in (Large-Scale Renewable Energy Generation) Act 2011, and it amends the Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act 2010 to give effect to the ACT government’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction and renewable energy targets.

The aim of the climate change act is to promote the development of policies and practices to address climate change and set targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the ACT. The purpose of the feed-in tariff act is to establish a scheme to support the development of large-scale renewable energy generation.

It is worth noting that the Canberra Liberals have a long, proud history in renewable energy. For example, in 1997 the then minister for the environment Gary Humphries announced that the ACT government would work towards reducing the territory’s emissions of greenhouse gases relative to 1990 levels by 2008 and would reduce emissions by 20 per cent below that level by 2018—at the time quite a bold step. At around the same time in 1997 the Howard government at the federal level introduced renewable energy targets.

We support a sustainable renewable energy target, but we are concerned about the costs imposed on Canberra ratepayers that may result from the ACT government’s target. I would also like to make the point that the ACT government introduced this bill on Tuesday and is debating it today—only two days later—which is not enough time for proper review and scrutiny of this bill. The ACT government has also asked the scrutiny committee to dispense with its review of this bill, and this is the fourth time this year the ACT government has done so.

Disallowable instruments are usually subject to Legislative Assembly disallowance procedures. Section 11(3) of the feed-in tariff act prohibits the minister from granting a feed-in tariff entitlement under the feed-in tariff capacity release until after the

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