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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 6 Hansard (23 June) . . Page.. 2549..


MS TUCKER (continuing):

That means that we have to have at least a commitment to the Kyoto protocol. We want to see a commitment to that and it has to happen at a state and territory level.

That report found that global warming is not just a future threat; it is already affecting Australia's nature. The key findings of the report were that global warming may already be creating weather conditions that increase the intensity of bushfires; that, as global warming intensifies, actual conditions in south-eastern Australia are matching scientific projections for the region; that since 1970 there has been a decreasing trend in the number of days on which snow has been recorded in the Snowy Mountains; that, as global warning intensifies, Mount Kosciusko will lose its alpine environment and that species that depend on this environment will be lost; that studies have identified 47 alpine plants species and the mountain pygmy possum as at risk of extinction from global warming; that among the animals at risk of decline or extinction in the New South Wales area are the smoky mouse, the long-footed potoroo, the red-lored whistler, the red-tailed black cockatoo, the regent parrot, the sooty owl and the plains wanderer. The number of species at risk is likely to be far higher than have yet to be studied.

A study by Stephen Williams, a rainforest ecologist at James Cook University, indicated that the annual mean temperature was expected to rise by between 1.4 and 5.8 degrees by 2100 and that, if it rose by 5.8 degrees, only about three of the 65 rainforest animals unique to the north Queensland wet tropics would remain. A mid-range rise of 3.5 degrees would leave 30 species extinct and the rest threatened. A seven-degree rise would wipe them out. Dr Williams said that even a rise of only one degree, likely over the next 20 to 30 years, would annihilate one species and leave another 20 highly endangered. Animals potentially lost to the world would include the tree kangaroo, several species of ring tailed possums, the chameleon gecko and the golden bowerbird. He was shocked by the preliminary findings of his long-term research into rainforest ecology.

I am talking just about Australia, a country that apparently has to have a flag in every school. I do not know whether people here are interested in the impacts globally, but the point I am making in concluding this debate is that this is not an issue that we can just put aside as too expensive. It does not have to cost the earth to reach the target set for the ACT, but it will cost the earth if we do not take the situation seriously.

Motion agreed to.

Making of regulations

MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (6.04): I move:

That this Assembly calls on the Government to refrain from making regulations after 16 August 2004 in relation to new Bills passed by this Assembly during the June-July and August 2004 sittings.

Mr Speaker, we face a dilemma in the coming months in that the trend in modern legislation is to put more and more of the detail in the regulations. We do not have a problem with that; we agreed to it when we were in office. Having said that, it is important that regulations have a suitable scrutiny when they are made. The dilemma that faces us as legislators in the coming months is that the last sitting day of this place


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