March 30, 2017

Question in the House - Renewable Energy

30 March 2017


Ms TAMARA SMITH ( Ballina ): I direct my question to the Premier. Will the Premier inform the House whether the Government agrees with the statement by Barnaby Joyce that the Australian Capital Territory renewable energy target is "completely insane", given an Australian Capital Territory power purchase agreement signed under the Australian Capital Territory renewable energy target is helping to finance the Sapphire wind farm near Glen Innes and creating 265 jobs?

Ms GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN ( WilloughbyPremier): I thank the member for her question and note her interest in these matters. I emphasise that the Government is ensuring reliable, affordable and clean energy for the people of New South Wales. The Government is not only ensuring it for today but for the future. The best way to achieve this is to provide a clear market framework that will give the private sector confidence to invest in new supply. This needs to occur at a national level. We must support the national renewable energy target in creating the framework for private investment. I am pleased to say that New South Wales is attracting billions of dollars in investment from the private sector for renewable energy projects across New South Wales. It will create thousands of jobs and contribute to securing the energy future for households and businesses.

A critical issue for New South Wales is not just securing energy but also ensuring accessibility and affordability for households and businesses. I understand that AGL is the owner of Nyngan and Broken Hill solar farms. Hundreds of jobs in regional New South Wales were created during their construction. Eleven more solar farms with a combined installed capacity of 400 megawatts have been approved for construction in New South Wales and five of them will be completed by the end of year. We have a good record in New South Wales.

We will continue on all matters regarding energy sources. We support the National Large-scale Renewable Energy Target. We are committed to supporting the National Plan for Reducing Greenhouse Emissions by 26 to 28 per cent by 2030 as part of Australia's commitments under the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Again, consistent with the Paris agreement, the New South Wales Climate Change Policy Framework contains an aspirational target of net zero emissions by 2050, which is also consistent with the Federal Government.

This State Government has a proven track record and is very fair and balanced in this area. It appreciates the challenges that exist and is working hard to make sure it is always a step ahead. It is important for us to support these initiatives not just in words but also in actions. We know that our economy will be strengthened by providing certainty of investment. I cannot let the week go by without expressing my surprise—because ordinarily I credit The Greens for always standing by principle and being consistent—to learn that in Gosford The Greens are preferencing the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party ahead of the Liberal Party.

The SPEAKER: Order! Members will come to order. The member for Newtown will cease interjecting. The member for Newtown will remove herself from the Chamber until the end of question time.

[Pursuant to sessional order themember for Newtown left the Chamber at 3.11p.m.]



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