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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 October 2017) . . Page.. 4389 ..

government has spent the last few years dodging its responsibility to put in place clear and durable plans for Australia’s transition to a low emissions economy, we have been acting here in the territory.

As a government we understand and accept that we must act now to cut emissions and find cleaner ways to power our growth. The costs of putting off action will only mean that the adjustment will end up being sharper and more costly in the future. That is why it has been so disappointing and irresponsible of the current federal government to delay and delay again on delivering a clear, long-term energy policy. Last week’s announcement of their latest policy attempt bears many of the hallmarks of their prior efforts: rushed, lacking in detail and more responsive to the preferences and the internal battles within the coalition party room than to the interests of our nation, our community and our economy.

The ACT government is of course keen to engage to see whether, possibly this time, there is a policy that can deliver the emissions reduction that we need that would last through more than one electoral cycle in this country. Unfortunately, with so few details currently on offer, that remains very much to be determined. By contrast, Madam Speaker, our territory government is well on its way to delivering what is an ambitious emissions reduction and sustainability target. We have put in place supply contracts to see 100 per cent of the territory’s energy provided by renewables by 2020 and we are growing a new industry in the territory in the process. That is why, while the number of renewable energy jobs fell across Australia because of the Abbott government and the subsequent policies of the Turnbull government, the number of renewable energy jobs in the territory actually grew by 22 per cent between 2010 and 2016.

Because of the investments that we have already made and our clear policy direction, Canberra is now perfectly positioned to grow as a major knowledge and skills centre for the multi-billion dollar renewables industry. We can and we will lead the next stage of this country’s renewable transition, which involves developing the battery and storage technologies needed to make renewables as reliable as other forms of power generation.

Key renewable energy projects are now being driven from Canberra. Canberra-based Neoen is working with Tesla to install the world’s largest battery pack in South Australia, while Windlab will manage the new Ararat Wind Farm in Victoria. Our knowledge sector continues to be the engine room for innovation and growth and will underpin our continued national leadership.

For example, the ANU is partnering with Windlab to deliver Australia’s first masters course in wind energy, while Global Power Generation is also partnering with the ANU and ActewAGL Distribution to trial new hydrogen technologies. We have an ever-increasing host of senior business leaders visiting Canberra to learn from our experience and to scope local investment opportunities. They come here because of both the expertise we have garnered and the strong positive story we have to tell.

The world can embrace renewable energy and can capture huge economic advantages. The ACT industry’s rapid growth is no accident, Madam Speaker. It has come about

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