Wednesday, 3 November 2016

THE Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy Adam Marshall says a $500 million state government environmental funding package offers real and realistic rural and regional benefits that would boost jobs and investment through renewable energy projects.

Mr Marshall, the Northern Tablelands MP, said the five-year funding plan for a range of innovative environmental programs will be a huge shot in the arm for country economies, not just in jobs and investment growth, but also in lower electricity bills and energy savings.

“This new package offers seriously significant benefits for our communities in regional areas and we should be firing up to get a slice of the action,” Mr Marshall said.

“We are in the perfect place, and I’m not just talking geographically, but we are well placed both practically, philosophically and logically to reap real benefits from this planning.”

NSW Environment Minister Mark Speakman today announced a nation-leading $500 million environmental funding package that will support a range of innovative environmental programs with a focus on job creation and consumer savings.

Mr Speakman released two draft plans today, the NSW Government’s draft strategic plan for the $500 million investment package and the draft plan to Save NSW Energy and Money, plus accompanying policy framework.

Mr Marshall said the programs would help businesses and households save energy and reduce their electricity bills, expand the use of renewable energy and better prepare for climate change.

“There’s $200 million devoted to attracting more investment in renewable and advanced energy in NSW, bringing new jobs and investment to regions,” Mr Marshall said.

“The government is asking for feedback on our plan to save consumers money on their bills, and increase investment and jobs in energy and there’s consultation to come on purchasing a significant proportion of its energy from new projects – equivalent to about five-medium sized solar plants.

“We’re also looking at how we attract more money in to research and development projects.

“It’s also backed up by the biggest energy efficiency policy in Australia, which will save households and businesses $18 billion by 2050 on their bills”.

Mr Marshall said the planning supports firm and flexible renewable energy generation such as solar thermal, bioenergy and pumped hydro which will complement existing variable wind and solar generators.

“The policy framework sets out an aspirational goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, consistent with the Australian Government’s commitment to the Paris Agreement, and complementing Australia’s existing national targets,” Mr Marshall said.

‘We’re already committed in this region – at Uralla particularly, to that net-zero emissions type of philosophy for the future, so this new government planning supports what plenty of us already in Northern Tablelands are working towards.

Mr Marshall said $100 million was included in the package to help households and businesses to understand how the climate is changing, help the community adapt and to reduce their exposure.

The package is expected to attract up to $3 billion in new private sector investment in energy efficiency and advanced energy in NSW

This new commitment of $500 million, alongside other ongoing programs such as the enhanced bushfire management program, represents an unprecedented commitment of $1.4 billion over the next five years to address climate change.

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