Renewable energy was on the agenda again in Parliament last week, with the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Bill up for debate.
The proposed legislative amendments contained in the bill restore some balance in the Renewable Energy Target (RET) Scheme. They also bring the RET back to a more achievable level.
Renewable energy plays an important role in filling in some of the gaps in electricity transmission in New South Wales.
As electricity prices have increased in recent years, our electricity consumption has dropped. This is not because we have become superefficient; it is because we are turning off and using less electricity.
Unfortunately, many of the people making these sacrifices are the ones who can least afford to do so – the elderly and small business.
This bill will bring about some certainty for both electricity providers and renewable energy investors. It will have a target that is achievable and it will ensure that renewable energy projects that are currently underway are completed.
I look forward to the Government and the Opposition working co-operatively, on a bipartisan basis, to resolve any issues which may arise with the operation of the RET through to 2020.
In considering the topic of renewable energy, I note that last Friday was World Environment Day. It is important for all of us to consider what positive steps we can take to make a difference in the environment.
Our quality of life in Australia is intrinsically linked with the health of our natural environment.
I am proud to be part of a Government that is focused on meaningful action that will make a real difference to our natural environment and in our local communities.
The Green Army has hit the ground running with over 250 teams already carrying out work to improve the local environment. The Green Army is working across the Parkes electorate to help clean up our riverbanks and creek beds, manage weeds and invasive pests and protect local significant heritage sites.
The Emissions Reduction Fund is also helping to tackle climate change. The Coalition Government is providing real incentives for our businesses, farmers, factories and households to reduce Australia’s emissions.
These are just a couple of the Federal Government’s commitments that will deliver long-term improvements to both our local and national environment.