Mr POWELL (Glass House—LNP) (2.54 pm): I want to speak about a fantastic environmental initiative. Regarding this initiative, the then Acting Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability said in a media release on 6 June 2010— the Queensland Government was happy to be a major partner in the scheme which would help Queenslanders to access existing
state Government incentives … EzyGreen is another way to promote greener habits in Queensland. I table that media statement. Tabled paper: Press release, dated 6 June 2010, by Hon. Kate Jones, Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability relating to Households to get $20m energy reduction scheme.
The acting minister was on a roll and reiterated her statements on 13 July 2010, when she said— the Queensland Government was happy to get behind the program as major partner and make it even easier for Queenslanders to live a greener lifestyle.
I table that media statement. Tabled paper: Press release, dated 13 July 2010, by Hon. Kate Jones, Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability relating to EzyGreen energy reduction scheme goes live.
When the initiative achieved its 30,000th sign-up on Tuesday, 7 September 2010, the Premier got on the bandwagon. The Premier said— Queenslanders are to be congratulated for embracing this program so quickly and taking positive steps towards living a greener lifestyle.
I table that statement. Tabled paper: Press release, dated 7 September 2010, by Hon. Anna Bligh MP, Premier and Minister for the Arts relating to 30,000 homes now signed up for EzyGreen.
As recently as last Thursday, 24 November 2011, even the director-general of the Department of Environment and Resource Management agreed in correspondence that ‘our collaboration on this program has been a worthwhile enterprise’, and I table that correspondence. Tabled paper: Letter, dated 24 November 2011, from Mr Jim Reeves, Director-General, Department of Environment and Resource Management to Ms Megan Houghton, CEO, CitySmart Pty Ltd relating to the sponsorship agreement for the EzyGreen program.
So it came as some surprise when on Tuesday of this week the current Minister for Environment announced that her tired government was pulling out of the initiative because it had been ‘a resounding disappointment’. Interestingly, she said the government had paid $2 million of a promised $3 million to date. Well, no, her department had paid $1.5 million and its May payment of $500,000 was six months overdue. Coincidentally, it was paid today. Lord Mayor Quirk says this sends a major warning to all local governments that have funding
agreements with the state government. He suspects the real reason is the state government is fast running out of money and it sees councils as an easy target. The EzyGreen model is successful because it leverages private sector support to bring a range of products that help Queenslanders reduce their energy bills and emissions to people’s homes. The alternative, which is the ClimateSmart Home Service, relies solely on taxpayer funding which, under this government, is increasingly on the credit card, adding to the escalating $85 billion worth of debt.