Netherlands Wind Turbines

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SpeakersGallacher The Hon Michael; Brown The Hon Robert; Gay The Hon Duncan
BusinessQuestions Without Notice, QWN

Page: 7631

The Hon. ROBERT BROWN: My question without notice is directed to the Minister for Roads and Ports, representing the Minister for Resources and Energy. Is the Minister aware that in the Netherlands offshore wind turbines, which power more than 100,000 households, have been declared to be too expensive? Is the Minister aware that the cost of subsidising the power production from those mills has blown out to more than the equivalent of AUS$6 billion a year and now householders and industrial consumers will be forced to pick up that financial burden? What impact will the Netherlands experience have on plans by the New South Wales Government to pursue the development of wind farms in this State?
    The Hon. DUNCAN GAY: I am not aware of that report from the Netherlands, but I am not surprised. I have had similar concerns for a long time. I was interested to see that the great social commentator, Prince Philip of Windsor, had some words to say—
      Mr David Shoebridge: Point of order: By definition, everything the Minister says from here on cannot be relevant. The Minister has admitted that he has no knowledge of the substance of the question. Therefore, the balance of his answer must, by definition, be irrelevant.
        The PRESIDENT: Order! I remind the Minister of the need for him to be generally relevant.
          The Hon. Amanda Fazio: Point of order: It is against the standing orders to use the Crown or the Crown's representatives in debate to try to sway argument. Therefore, I believe that the reference by the Deputy Leader of the Government to his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales is outside the standing orders.
            The Hon. GREG PEARCE: Prince Charles is the Prince of Wales.
              The PRESIDENT: Order! Standing Order 91 (2) refers to her Majesty the Queen or the Governor. It does not extend to his Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.

              The Hon. DUNCAN GAY: I wish I could remember the exact words of the Duke of Edinburgh because they were crackers. I will get them for the House.

              The Hon. Jeremy Buckingham: Point of order: My point of order is that it is impossible to understand the Minister.

              The PRESIDENT: Order! The Hon. Jeremy Buckingham has taken a point of order about the number of interjections. I am also having trouble hearing the Minister. Members will cease interjecting.

              The Hon. DUNCAN GAY: I was disappointed that we had the Earl of Orange and not Guthrie Featherstone, QC, MP, the Rumpolian of the New South Wales Parliament. I will take the question on notice and refer it to my learned colleague for reply. I can advise the House that the Duke of Edinburgh described them as "a very bad idea, a disgrace and they have never worked".

              The Hon. MICHAEL GALLACHER: If members have further questions, I suggest that they place them on notice.