07 December 2020
The Parliament has now passed the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Bill and the state can finally move forward with a modern and sustainable energy plan. The bill sets up a framework to transition electricity supply away from coal through Renewable Energy Zones. I was pleased that the Legislative Council kept the amendments I moved in the Legislative Assembly intact. My amendments provide for new advisory committees to help communities currently reliant on coal fired power for jobs transition and help find ways that the electricity market can reduce emissions, as well as mandating a contribution from energy generators for community benefits in Renewable Energy Zones. It was good to see the government, opposition, Greens and other smaller parties work together to block hundreds of amendments proposed by One Nation that would have weakened sustainability measures in the bill.
There is still work to do to protect communities that rely on thermal coal mining for jobs, given demand is declining as more countries introduce sustainable electricity transition plans to meet their Paris agreements. Through the Environment and Planning committee that I chair I will be making recommendations to government on this.