ALP Senators' Report
The Labor party believes that
there have been many genuine concerns raised in this Inquiry and recognise that
the legislation presented to parliament is flawed.
However, Labor recognises the
imperative to get the legislation through as soon as possible to enable the
Regulator to be established and regulation to be in place before the
legislation comes into force in January 2001.
Any attempt to be amended will
be thwarted by the Government which has indicated it is unwilling to accept any
amendments from the Senate.
Labor endorses the report, with
1. Definition of renewable energy – Report sections 1.39 –
1.43 recommendation 1
Labor agrees that the definition
of what is ‘renewable’ should not be determined solely on greenhouse
considerations, but should also consider other environmental impacts.
Labor further recognises the
concern that this measure may lead to an increase in biomass extraction from
native forests as a result of the additional financial incentive attached to
the renewable energy certificates.
Although these concerns are
valid, Labor also recognises that further harvesting of RFA areas is not
unlimited and there are significant constraints on resource availability.
Labor supports the close
scrutiny of the impact of this legislation on other environmental issues,
particularly the effect on utilisation of forestry waste and that this should
be monitored and included for consideration in a formal review.
2. Level of the penalty - Recommendation 5
Labor recognises the concern
that the level of the penalty may be too low to encourage liable parties to buy
renewable energy certificates and that it may also be too low to result in a
mix of technologies.
Labor supports the close
scrutiny of the resulting mix of technologies and the inclusion of the level of
penalty for consideration in a formal review.
3. Implementation timetable – Recommendation 7
Labor notes that due to
investments under the Greenpower scheme and in anticipation of the renewable
energy target, current capacity of existing renewable generators and those
under construction are likely to exceed the interim targets for the first few
Labor encourages the Government
to reconsider the interim targets in relation to the extent of eligible
renewable generation capacity currently in operation and under construction
with a view to maximise emission reductions in the 2008-2012 Kyoto commitment
period, which is clearly in Australia's interests.
Labor supports the review of the
interim targets as part of a formal review.
Senator Jan McLucas
Senator for QLD
Substituting for Senator the Hon
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