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ECONOMICS LEGISLATION COMMITTEE
02/07/2009
Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Bill 2009
ECONOMICS LEGISLATION COMMITTEE
Senate committee
Thursday, 2 July 2009
Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Bill 2009
Final

CHAIR (Senator Eggleston) —I declare open this first hearing of the inquiry into the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Bill 2009 and a related bill. On 18 June 2009 the Senate referred the provisions of these bills to the committee. The bills seek to implement the government’s objective of increasing the renewable energy target from 9,500 gigawatt hours in 2010 to 45,000 gigawatt hours in 2020. This would imply that at least 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity comes from renewable energy sources by the year 2020. The committee is due to report to the Senate by 12 August 2009.

These are public proceedings, although the committee may agree to a request to have evidence heard in camera or may determine that certain evidence should be heard in camera. I remind all witnesses that, in giving evidence to the committee, they are protected by parliamentary privilege. It is unlawful for anyone to threaten or disadvantage a witness on account of evidence given to the committee. Such action may be treated by the Senate as a contempt. It is also a contempt to give false or misleading evidence to a committee. If a witness objects to answering a question, the witness should state the ground on which the objection is taken and the committee will determine whether it will insist on an answer, having regard to the ground which is claimed. If the committee determines to insist on an answer, a witness may request that the answer be given in camera. Such a request may of course also be made at any other time.

 [3.15 pm]