Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) — I am pleased to rise to speak to this bill. I think it is an important and very progressive piece of legislation, and I am pleased to support it. I am saddened and sometimes just a little bit embarrassed about what our federal government is doing at the expense of logic, the views of the community, the views of every leading scientist and the views of business heads and major authorities — who all agree that clean energy targets are a good way forward to tackle energy and climate policy. Unfortunately the likes of Mr Abbott do not agree, and therefore Mr Turnbull must toe the line of the Abbott climate-denying primitive primates.
The Finkel review was pretty unequivocal about this. Our energy systems of the future will be based on renewable power backed up by storage.
Andrew Stock from the Climate Council articulated this week that:
Any policy that doubles down on old polluting power at the expense of clean energy is a barrier to progress.
Just taking up Mr Bourman’s query about the cost, for example, I have a farm that uses renewable energy, and guess what my electricity bill is every year? Zero dollars. As well, I note that in an article in the Australian this week it noted that the federal government’s new plan is worse than business as usual — that is, in terms of the production of renewable energy — and that it will increase energy prices, not decrease them, and will of course increase pollution into the future.
I went to an All-Energy Australia conference at the convention centre last week. Stepping into that room was really quite inspiring — seeing the number of businesses that are moving forward with some amazing technology. There have been incredible advances in renewable technologies as well as storage technologies, but also this new sector is building in a very prosperous way: it is employing a lot of people and it is a bright future for us.
As I mentioned in my members statement yesterday, just last week I was given a tour of the world-winning Hawkers Beer brewery in Reservoir, which now raises 40 per cent of its energy on its roof. It has reduced its energy costs substantially. If legislation enabled it, it would create more power and it would be able to almost be self-sufficient energy-wise, and that is while producing 6 million litres of world-winning beer.
The energy targets in the bill are achievable, and I think they are the sorts of targets we should be having. Of course California has set its target at 50 per cent, and it looks like it is going to achieve that before the deadline for it. I think big business knows and understands this and our community knows and understands this. The only barrier from transitioning to a clean, affordable and reliable energy system is politics, and I think we have got the politics right here. The bill introduces the energy targets for 25 per cent by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025. They are good targets, and I think the road map is good. I like the reporting that this bill will introduce so we can actually see if we are meeting those targets. We can see if we are increasing employment by this way, if we are improving our economy and if we are setting up new businesses in this state. I commend the bill to the house.