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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008-2009 Week 1 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 174..


MR SESELJA (continuing):

In the ACT we know well in advance what our election date will be. This simple safeguard will prevent government's coordinated use of taxpayer and political campaigning to gain political advantage. The bill also contemplates that the unexpected happens and does give the minister power to create exemptions in exceptional circumstances.

This bill is one of the most progressive and protective of its kind anywhere in the world. We can lead the way. This bill, based on a longstanding community outcry, academic comment and, finally, federal action will achieve real improvements in accountability and also faith in government advertising.

In 1998 a Victorian Auditor-General's report noted:

... addressing the public perception of bias is as important as improving the openness and accountability of the advertising framework itself.

We believe government advertising should only be used to inform the voters, not to influence their votes. We believe this bill will be a sound step to a better democracy. I commend the bill to the house.

Debate (on motion by Mr Corbell) adjourned to the next sitting.

Climate Change (Greenhouse Gas Emissions Targets) Bill 2008 (No 2)

Mr Seselja, pursuant to notice, presented the bill.

Title read by Clerk.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (11.28): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am of a generation that does not need convincing on environmental issues. I do need convincing that governments of all persuasions around the country are taking meaningful action to address the issue. In our new Assembly we have a chance to make a real difference, to do things differently, more cooperatively and more effectively.

Early this year my colleague Mrs Vicki Dunne presented a bill to enact real climate change targets that would make a definite difference. That bill was voted down by the Stanhope-Gallagher government. I now seek to re-present that bill and hope that in a new Assembly we can take a new look at this issue and commit ourselves to real change.

A bill presented by the government sets targets for the year 2050 with no interim targets. Presumably Mr Stanhope is hoping to grab the credit and then leave his successor to deal with the actual problem. Once again we feel that it is the Stanhope-Gallagher government grabbing a headline instead of committing to change. Once again, we have posturing but no positive action, and action is what is needed.


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