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Monday, 17 August 2009
Page: 8062

Mr COMBET (Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science and Minister Assisting the Minister for Climate Change) (9:21 PM) —I thank the member for Lyne for his diligence in pursuing this amendment. He is certainly extremely consistent on this theme. I am endeavouring to come to grips with his imagery about a political mosh pit; it is a theme that I am sure can be developed. However, as respectful as the government is in relation to the contribution by the member for Lyne concerning the amendments, the government does not support the amendments he has proposed—and the government does not support them because they suggest that the regulator would have the power to initiate the review, which is the subject of this issue, and also approve the qualifications of the person to conduct the review and to receive the report. That is not, in the government’s view, an appropriate role for the regulator.

The government’s bill provides, alternatively, that the review is required to be independent and to provide a report for the government’s consideration. The review is, however, a review of government policy approaches to achieving the government’s policy objective of accelerating the deployment of renewable energy to ensure that 20 per cent of electricity supply comes from renewable sources by the year 2020. As the minister has policy responsibility for the effective operation of the renewable energy target, it is appropriate in the government’s view for the minister to initiate the review and select the person who will undertake these functions. Having said that, I move:

That the question be now put.

Question agreed to.

Original question negatived.