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NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announces Climate Change Fund money to reduce energy costs

| 20.08,18. 09:12 PM |





NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announces Climate Change Fund money to reduce energy costs




Photo: The Berejiklian Government says its plan will help low-income renters save up to $400 a year. (ABC News: Danielle Bonica)


The NSW Government is taking $72 million from its Climate Change Fund to help some businesses and households reduce their energy costs.


Premier Gladys Berejiklian today announced that $35 million dollars would be given to about 250 manufacturing businesses to install energy efficient equipment and meters to track their energy use.


An additional $24.5 million will be directed at low-income renters, so they can obtain energy efficient lighting, heating and hot water systems.


The Government said that it would help low-income renters save up to $400 a year on their energy bills.


The rest of the money will go to local councils to install LED bulbs in streetlights.


Ms Berejiklian said it was an appropriate use of the Climate Change Fund.


"I had been concerned previously as to what the money was used for and now what I'm keen to ensure as Premier … [is] that whilst we're doing everything we can to reduce emissions and be good to the environment, we also want to be good to everybody's hip pocket," she said at a media conference this morning.


However, National Conservation Council of NSW CEO Kate Smolski said the Berejiklian Government's vision was not bold enough to reach its target of zero net emissions by 2050.


"NSW is on fire and the Government announces it is buying water pistols," Ms Smolski said.


While the plan is welcome to an extent, Ms Smolski said "energy efficiency has to be part of the mix, but realistically it is not the solution".


"Where is the Premier's plan to slash emissions from our main sources of pollution in NSW — coal-fired power stations?" she said.


The Premier's announcement today coincides with the Turnbull Government dumping its plans to legislate emissions reduction target.


The federal Coalition announced reducing emissions by 26 per cent on 2005 levels did not have enough support to pass Parliament.


Berejiklian tight-lipped on spill speculation


Ms Berejiklian was asked if she supported Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and had indeed told her ministers not to get involved in any discussion of a leadership spill.


Ms Berejiklian said her team would not be distracted by leadership rumblings at the federal level, as speculation mounted over a Liberal Party leadership spill to replace Turnbull with Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton.


"That goes without saying that we focus on our own jobs. We focus on getting NSW the best policies and helping our citizens every day," she said.


The Premier said those were issues for her federal colleagues to resolve among themselves.


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