In March-April 2023, the ACT Government released an Issues Paper and sought community and stakeholder feedback on a regulation to prevent new fossil fuel gas network connections in the ACT. The consultation focused on the transition to the new regulation, how it will be implemented and where exemptions might apply. The MBA attended stakeholder working group meetings to specifically discuss the impact on the building and construction industry.
The ACT Government has now published a Listening Report and Community and Stakeholder Engagement Report to provide details on what was heard.
Across the consultation period they received 313 survey responses, 23 written submissions, had 48 webinar participants, and 37 workshop participants.
Some high-level key findings from the consultation included:
- In general, there was strong support or positive sentiment about the introduction of a regulation to prevent new fossil fuel gas connections.
- Key benefits of the regulation mentioned by the community include emissions reduction, reduced energy costs for consumers, improved air quality, and safer homes.
- Key concerns about the regulation related to things like capacity and supply for the electricity network, impact on existing gas connections, and affordability and equity in the community.
- There were mixed views on how land or premises that are subject to the regulation should be identified (e.g. like using planning zones).
- Most people believed that the regulation should apply to both residential and commercial zones (if planning zones were to be used to identify land or premises).
- There was strong support for the regulation to apply to both new developments and in-fill developments, including knock-down rebuilds and renovations where a gas connection is abolished.
- Most people supported an exemption process to allow for instances where no viable electric alternative is available.
- There was strong support across all engagement activities for the proposed requirement for the gas distributor to report new connection information to the ACT Government.
- Across all engagement activities, there was strong support for a regulation commencement date of November 2023.
- Key transition impacts raised included impacts on workforce and supply chain issues, the handling of builds that already have development approval, and the impact on individual rights to choose energy supply.
To read the Listening Report and Community and Stakeholder Engagement Report, visit https://yoursayconversations.act.gov.au/pathway-to-electrification
It is anticipated that the regulation is implemented in November 2023 (or as soon as practical thereafter).
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