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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 6 Hansard (16 May) . . Page.. 1752..


MRS DUNNE (continuing):

Mr Quinlan. These are his words again and again. He said it was idealistic, stunning, but totally useless.

I have a strong belief in the goal of sustainability, because we have no other responsible option. Further, I want to see the ACT emerge as a trendsetter. If it proves feasible for us to become the world's first sustainable energy city-and I believe it can be done-we should go for it. Mr Quinlan's response to that idea was merely to laugh.

Let me put on the record here that, no sooner had I spoken in that debate last month-when my comments were pooh-poohed by Mr Quinlan, a shareholder in ActewAGL-than I was contacted by ActewAGL with an offer to brief me on what was already happening, what they were already doing in this regard. They are really ahead of the game.

What might have been dismissed years ago by most people, and is still dismissed today by Mr Quinlan, as science fiction, is already on the drawing boards, especially regarding the active exploration of wind turbines to produce electricity. Within my lifetime I want to be able to look out on the horizons of the territory and see these graceful machines at work producing energy that is renewable and sustainable, and not adding one iota to greenhouse gas emissions. Regrettably, this is not a vision shared by Mr Quinlan nor, presumably, by the rest of his government.

When we were addressing these issues, Mr Quinlan was more interested in how the ideas would play out in the big boys playgroup of the national energy market, which may itself actually be an impediment to ever having sustainable energy in this place. If he were asked to take along an idea that might emanate from the committee, his amusing and visionary response would be to say, "G'day ladies and gentlemen. I have this lot, but you have to remember that I am from a minority government." True to form, just yesterday, when we were having a discussion on solar hot water systems, he expressed the view that the matter, in his words, was "a little bit of nonsense".

He seems to be more concerned about the administrative imposition than about having any vision. Mr Quinlan expresses the view that he is a practical and pragmatic man, and he does not want to be bogged down with these little bits of nonsense. One day, I hope that Mr Quinlan will learn that there is nothing more pragmatic than principle and vision. I support Ms Tucker's motion with the reservation that her barbs should be aimed squarely at this government, and especially the responsible minister, who quite frankly does not care.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The time allotted for the discussion has expired.

East Timor-independence

Debate resumed.

MRS CROSS (5.15): In 1999 the world watched as East Timor gained freedom through an overwhelming victory for independence in a United Nations supervised referendum. As the referendum concluded, we then watched in disbelief and horror as the world's television screens were flooded by waves of hatred unleashed across the country. The


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