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Monday, 7 November 2011
Page: 8274


Senator MILNE (TasmaniaDeputy Leader of the Australian Greens) (10:57): I want to ask a further question in relation to Senator Xenophon's remarks before the minister responds. This issue came up in the joint house inquiry. We heard from the Energy Supply Association, but from further discussions subsequent to that and after thinking about it, I think the difference between the CPRS and this scheme in terms of this particular issue is that the CPRS only had one year of a known price, whereas with this scheme we are going to a fixed price mechanism for three years before going to flexible pricing.

From my point of view, that does make a difference on this issue. As Senator Xenophon said, this is one of the issues that were raised that requires consideration. I went back to the minister's office to raise it with them and to ask whether this is really the issue it is being made out to be, because the government obviously has the benefit of a lot more confidential information than we have in relation to this matter. I am led to believe that the three years does make a substantial difference in the circumstances, so I would appreciate it if the minister, in answering part of what Senator Xenophon raised, could also refer to that matter.