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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 11 Hansard (15 September) . . Page.. 3915..


MS HUNTER (continuing):

road map, the proposed interim draft energy policy, the outcomes in Copenhagen and the likely evolution of the carbon pollution reduction scheme.

The committee considers that its inquiry into these and related issues should be ongoing. While noting these developments, the committee believes that drafting of legislation for ACT greenhouse gas reduction targets and associated monitoring, reporting and review mechanisms should proceed as soon as possible. The committee recommends consideration of draft legislation by the Assembly in the first half of 2010, taking into account the above developments that I have outlined at a local, national and international level.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.20): The government will support this motion this morning. I note, however, that the proposal is for a final report to not now be presented until March next year in relation to this matter.

Whilst I understand the committee's reasoning for that position, it does, of course, leave open the question that it may not be until halfway through the term of this Assembly that there is actually legislation passed on mandated greenhouse gas reduction targets, if you abide by that time frame.

Given the urgency that the Greens and other members in this place stressed needed to be put on this issue, I think it is of some concern that we now face potentially nearly a full two years before legislation is in place on this matter. I look forward with interest to seeing what the committee's interim report says when it is tabled, as I understand it, later today.

It may be the case that that report will give sufficient guidance about the committee's views on what a greenhouse gas reduction target should be that my concerns might be allayed. I will obviously need to wait and see. But I would simply add the observation, and perhaps the caution, that whilst it is, of course, desirable to have as complete and as comprehensive a report on this important matter as is possible, we also need to have regard to the fact that I know there is a strong view in the community and, indeed, expressed by non-government parties in this Assembly that there should be new targets in place as a matter of urgency.

I just make the observation that as it is nearly two years after the election that we actually get around to legislating those targets, this does not perhaps demonstrate the urgency that members have previously expressed. That being the case, I look forward to seeing the committee's report and seeing what guidance it gives.

The government will be moving to act quickly on the committee's recommendations and hopefully in a way that is able to provide definitive guidance on what should be our greenhouse gas reduction targets and what associated measures there should be. That said, the government will support the amendment to the resolution of appointment today.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


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