PASTORAL LAND MANAGEMENT AND CONSERVATION (RENEWABLE ENERGY) AMENDMENT BILL Second Reading

Thursday 18 September, 2014

Mr TARZIA (Hartley) (17:32): I also speak in support of this bill and commend the bill to the house. I would like to firstly acknowledge the enormous contribution of the Hon. Michelle Lensink in the other place, the member for Stuart and the member for Flinders, and acknowledge the enormous impact that such a bill has on their electorates, having many pastoral leases in their electorates.

Mr TARZIA (Hartley) (17:32): I also speak in support of this bill and commend the bill to the house. I would like to firstly acknowledge the enormous contribution of the Hon. Michelle Lensink in the other place, the member for Stuart and the member for Flinders, and acknowledge the enormous impact that such a bill has on their electorates, having many pastoral leases in their electorates.

I have to declare that I have enormous interest in renewable energy sources. Having been in the funds management industry for a couple of years, it was a great privilege to start to learn about renewable energy sources. I sincerely think that government has an enormous role to play in facilitating investment in the area and in facilitating growth in the area, be it solar energy, biomass waste to energy, water energy, wind energy or, particularly, geothermal energy. History has shown us in recent times that this government has failed the renewable energy sector, particularly in the geothermal energy space.

Obviously, as we have heard, renewable energy development cannot and could not have occurred on pastoral leases, because the Pastoral Land Management and Conservation Act 1989 was drafted prior to its occurrence. There have been enormous obstacles arising from existing provisions, and it is fantastic that this bill is hopefully coming to a head.

The Pastoral Land Management and Conservation (Renewable Energy) Amendment Bill was drafted to allow this coexistence of pastoral activities, wind farm development and mining. The bill hopefully will enable wind farm development on pastoral land. It has been said that up to 40 per cent of the state's land mass will be open to potential renewable energy development—and this is a good thing. I think we should always aspire to ensure, of course taking into consideration all the relevant parties, that we maximise the potential of our land since we do have so much of it.

It has obviously been said that the most likely location of wind farm developments, as the member for Stuart alluded to, will be in proximity to the state's transmission lines, and it is believed that it is hard for wind farm developments to operate outside a 30-kilometre radius of these lines.

It is important that we note the important role that the Howard government played in initiating the initial investment into the renewable energy space, in renewable energy technology, setting a substantial target many years ago. I note that it has been said that South Australia has—

Mr Hughes: 2 per cent.

Mr TARZIA: It can always be improved, member for Giles—no doubt about that. In fact, the member for Giles should ask—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! It is unparliamentary to interject and to respond to interjections. I draw members back to the task at hand. The member for Hartley.

Mr TARZIA: Deputy Speaker, it is fantastic that we have bipartisan passion for renewable energy. I just sincerely hope and wish—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Back to task.

Mr TARZIA: —on behalf of this space, that the government did more about it in their 12 years in office. I note that South Australia does have a certain percentage of energy coming from the renewable sector, but I am sure the member for Giles will be appeased—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Back to task.

Mr TARZIA: —to hear me say that it needs to be much more.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: You are still responding to interjections.

Mr TARZIA: Obviously I have struck a nerve here, Deputy Speaker, but more needs to be done in this space. They seem to be sincerely all talk and no action in this space. One only has to look into my own electorate in Lochiel Park in Campbelltown, in Hartley, where we have had a sustainable energy project that was set up many, many years ago and is still unable to be fully utilised by the local electorate.

Conversely, the Liberal Party has a strong record in this space. In fact, at a state level, the previous Liberal government (many, many years ago now) had a strong record of leadership on greenhouse gas emissions, and some may actually remember—those who were here—that in 1998 the Liberal government actually initiated South Australia's first government greenhouse target program, which is a very good thing.

As I have mentioned, we are advised that renewable energy could not previously occur on pastoral leases because of the original act that was in place. This particular bill, following its passage, will allow coexistence of pastoral activities, and that is a fantastic thing. I thank honourable members for their contributions and really hope that, in a bipartisan manner, we can progress this bill through this place.

There are a number of issues still to be clarified, as the member for Stuart did raise: issues concerning monetary payment, dispute resolution, the time in which a minister is able to determine whether an application is open-ended or not, and whether and how grant licences can be issued, with or without the consent of interested parties. There are also issues still to be rectified concerning the resumption period. However, all in all, I will support this bill. I commend the bill to the house and I hope that we can resolve some of those outstanding issues in the committee stage.