A question put forward to the Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation) regarding the Climate Change Council.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14:29): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before directing a question to the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation on the subject of the Climate Change Council.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: The Premier's Climate Change Council was established in 2007 in accordance with the Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act 2007. One of its roles is that the council must provide an annual report every financial year. I have examined the sa.gov website and am unable to find one for the year 2011-12, the most recent one being 2010-11. The council, as part of its role, provided advice on the final report of the climate change act review, which was tabled on 28 February 2012. My questions for the minister are:
1.What actions have arisen as a result of the review of the climate change act?
2.Will there be any amendments to the legislation?
3.Has the 2011-12 annual report been completed and, if so, why is it not available publicly with the previous year's reports?
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation) (14:30): I thank the honourable member for her most important question. I am advised that all legislative reviews of the Climate Change and Greenhouse Emissions Reduction Act 2007 are tabled in parliament and then published on the Government of South Australia website. Under section 21 of the Climate Change and Greenhouse Emissions Reduction Act 2007, a review of its operation, including the extent to which objects of the act are being achieved, must be undertaken on a four-yearly basis. The first review occurred in 2009. It found a range of issues that could affect the operation of the act were unclear at the time.
In light of this, the Premier's Climate Change Council advised that the second review should occur after two years. The government agreed to this recommendation and undertook a second review in 2011. I am advised that the final report was completed in December 2011, and in accordance with the act a copy of the report on the review, the Premier's Climate Change Council advice, and the ministerial response, were laid before both houses of parliament on 28 February 2012.
The review reports that significant progress has been made in achieving the objects of the act; particularly, the target to increase the proportion of South Australia's electricity generation source from renewables to 20 per cent was achieved three years ahead of schedule. The sector agreement program established under the act has been found to be successful in providing recognition to those who commit to addressing climate change, and the South Australian government has been a key contributor to national and international policy development associated with climate change, including to the national carbon pricing mechanism.
I am advised that consultation by the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources during and after the review process occurred on a number of issues. Recommendations from the review and the divergent views expressed by stakeholders during consultation continue to be considered in the context of a rapidly evolving national and international policy framework.