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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 5 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1457..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

Today, we take further steps in preparing for our future.

No effort is too small.

Incremental change, added to incremental change, finally becomes noticeable change. Soon, it becomes impossible to ignore.

Mr Speaker, between 2007-08 and 2012-13 the Government will have injected $242 million into climate change initiatives.

This includes the $100 million for Weathering the Change announced in today's Building the Future package, but of course it doesn't include investments such as the $250 million for transport initiatives funded as part of the same package.

These are historic investments in sustainability for a jurisdiction of this size.

But these are not the only ones. We have also invested $142 million in climate change and sustainability initiatives beyond these. We are about to embark on a world-leading feed-in-tariff scheme that will drive cultural change at the individual level, and the Government and the ActewAGL are jointly exploring the feasibility of a large-scale solar power plant, possibly capable of powering 10,000 homes. That's driving cultural change at the level of government.

There are recurrent spendings too—notably the $12.95 million over four years to implement the new bus network, which will start rolling out from next month.

There's $3.9 million over four years for water, energy and waste programs to educate Canberrans about steps they can take to reduce their waste and their reliance on water and electricity.

And there's $11.3 million to cover increased water costs for maintaining town and district parks, trees and shrubs, urban open spaces and sportsgrounds.

This will see that Canberra's town and district parks, trees and shrubs, urban open spaces and sportsgrounds are sustainably protected from the worst effects of drought.

There's $1.6 million for carbon-neutral schools and $476,000 for energy-efficient housing.

There's $1.9 million for Caring for our Country activities with the Commonwealth.

$900,000 will be invested to bring Kinleyside, Jerrabomberra East, Kama South and Jedbinbilla together into a nature reserve system, using best-practice conservation management to ensure the natural and cultural values of these sites are protected as a community asset.

Mr Speaker, a large chunk of climate-change funding—about $41 million—remains unallocated, pending the results of feasibility studies and further scoping of priorities. It may be, for example, that this will be used to co-invest in a solar power station for the ACT, subject to the feasibility study now under way.


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