ACT election 2020: Barr rebuffs 'crazy Greens proposal' to switch off gas

www.canberratimes.com.au
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Chief Minister Andrew Barr has rebuked a Greens plan to fast-track the phasing out of natural gas in the ACT.
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Chief Minister Andrew Barr has rebuked a Greens plan to fast-track the phasing out of natural gas in the ACT, saying households shouldn't be "shamed" for not switching to electric appliances. But Greens leader Shane Rattenbury has fired back, accusing Labor of shying away from major and urgent action on climate change. The Greens on Tuesday announced their ambition for the territory to be "fossil fuel gas free" by 2040, five years ahead of the time frame Mr Rattenbury set out in an announcement alongside Mr Barr last September. In a bid to accelerate the transition to a city powered entirely by electricity, the Greens want to ban gas connections to new suburbs from 2021. They also want to embark on an "intensive" two-year program to cease new connections in established suburbs. A $20 million fund would be set up to help businesses and households make the switch to electric appliances, such as heat pumps and reverse cycle air conditioning, under the Greens' plan. Mr Rattenbury, the ACT's climate change minister, said among the easiest ways for the ACT to reach its zero emissions target was to "stop creating new problems for ourselves" by installing new gas connections. But Mr Barr, who stood alongside Mr Rattenbury at the launch of the ACT's ambitious climate…
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