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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 11 Hansard (15 November) . . Page.. 3522..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

protocol because we have too much egg on our face, but if you actually redraft it around the edges and call it 'new Kyoto' we will be able to engage".

We now have the commonwealth minister for the environment, Ian Campbell, rushing off to Africa as an observer. This is the position in which we find ourselves now in our abject embarrassment. We have Ian Campbell, the minister for the environment, rushing off to Africa as an observer and sitting in the bleachers at the back of the room because he cannot debate the issue as we have not signed the protocol on the most important issue facing the world. (Time expired.)

MS MacDONALD: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Chief Minister, could you elaborate on the role that an emissions trading scheme, such as the one proposed by the state Labor premiers and chief ministers, would play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions?

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Ms MacDonald, for the question.

Mrs Dunne: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. On the basis that we do not know whether a carbon trading scheme will work, I think the Chief Minister is being asked to answer a hypothetical question.

MR SPEAKER: The Chief Minister was asked to elaborate on a matter that was decided by the heads of government. That is an appropriate supplementary question. Nice try!

MR STANHOPE: It is important that we ensure that we now get it right. Now that the commonwealth has done the backflip; now that the Prime Minister has owned up to his grievous policy failing and the failing of Australia to engage with the most important issue facing Australia, namely climate change-

Mr Smyth: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Under standing order 118 (b) the member cannot debate the subject to which the question refers. He was asked about the scheme, not about what the Liberal Party at the federal level was up to.

MR SPEAKER: And he is sticking to the subject matter of the question.

MR STANHOPE: It is important that we now engage. It is important that we now accept and acknowledge that climate change is a reality; that we need to deal with it. It is easily and by far the most important and significant issue facing the world today. The future of the world essentially now rests in the hands of those prepared to make serious and sensible decisions around how to deal with greenhouse gas emissions.

There is no doubt that the primary response of communities, jurisdictions, states and nations around the world-and the world through its respective capacity to work together-is through the Kyoto protocol and through the development of coherent policies for dealing with climate change.

At this stage all of the evidence and experience points to the fundamental role of carbon trading and emissions trading, and deals with perhaps the myriad responses which science can develop to deal with carbon. How to reduce the level of emissions

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