Victorian Renewable Energy Amendment Bill

Posted on 16. Sep, 2009 in Speeches

I am pleased to rise and speak in support of the Victorian Renewable Energy Amendment Bill 2009. It is rather pleasing to hear that the opposition is supporting the bill despite the odd bit of bravado that we heard before. Our government has been taking some decisive actions to tackle climate change. On 13 April this year the Council of Australian Governments agreed on a commitment that 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity supply will come from renewable sources by 2020. This agreement therefore represents a major step towards Australia’s low pollution future, and we should be looking forward to that.

Since 2006 the Victorian renewable energy target scheme has been used to encourage additional generation of electricity from renewable sources.
Therefore it has brought more investment in the generation of renewable energy and the development of renewable energy technologies, which include wind, solar, biomass and geothermal power.

With the commonwealth’s expanded renewable energy target scheme, by 2020 there will be about twice the investment in renewable energy in Victoria that would have been delivered by the Victorian renewable energy target scheme. Therefore the Victorian Renewable Energy Amendment Bill 2009 will amend the Victorian Renewable Energy Act 2006 to support the transition of the Victorian renewable energy target scheme to the national extended renewable energy target scheme.

Additionally this legislation also ensures a smooth transition of our state-based scheme into the national scheme and hence will avoid some extra administration and compliance costs and inefficiency, which often happens when there are multiple schemes operating around the country.
The Victorian Renewable Energy Amendment Bill 2009 will enable a smooth transition.

Various obligations under the existing legislation will be removed and entitlements and liabilities of the commonwealth scheme will therefore apply in this state — for example, under the bill applications for new power stations will become easier through a relaxing of the restrictions to allow for the transition to and participation in the commonwealth scheme from early 2010. A cut-off date for such new applications will apply, of course.

The amendment of the commonwealth Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 was passed in August 2009. This bill is designed to operate closely with the transitional provisions under the commonwealth Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000. Renewable energy certificates under the existing scheme will be able to be exchanged for a certificate under the expanded commonwealth scheme and deem all existing participants to be eligible.
Such amendments have been put in place to ensure that Victoria will be able to meet its target to generate renewable energy by 2020, and nationalising this scheme will allow Australia to move closer to these targets in synchronisation.

Finally, the passing of the amendment bill reinforces the Victorian government’s commitment to encouraging more investment and development in renewable power generation, and the government will continue to seek to ensure that our state will be the best place for such investment and meanwhile to create more job opportunities in the sector. I commend the bill to the house.

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