Page 1860 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 8 June 2022

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That gets to the real point, which I touched on in my speech but do want to reinforce in my final moments, about the merits of a ban. I know that my predecessor in this place many eons ago, as the Greens member for Brindabella, advocated for a ban. I know that there have been Greens right around the country with very strong views on the issues of air quality in much more condensed, concentrated places than the ACT who have advocated for bans.

I really want to stress a point that I think Ms Lawder raised so eloquently about the freedom of individual rights and individual choice. My dad is a bit like Minister Stephen-Smith’s dad in enjoying the smell of an open fire, but I think with rights also come responsibilities. I think there is an important conversation for us, as members of this place, to have with our community about the right you have to heat and cool your home in any way that you see fit, as evidence becomes available to us about the impact that that is having on your neighbours, on your community.

It is only anecdotal, but the real motivating reason for this motion today, or my very specific and honed interest in the air quality strategy and my proposal for this trial, was an email that I received from a brand-new constituent of mine. They moved to Brindabella from Gungahlin. They made the right choice, Mr Braddock, to come down south. They moved to Tuggeranong. They moved into Richardson. They have twin daughters, five years old, both asthmatic. They won their home at auction, proud first home buyers, and drew the unlucky straw of being sandwiched between three open chimney flues. They have asthmatic daughters, five years old. No bounding on the trampoline in the backyard for them, no sleeping out under the stars, as you do when you have sleepovers when you are a kid. That is really unfortunate.

We talk a lot in here about the value of living in the bush capital and having nice family homes on nice blocks. I know that is a passionate policy area of my friends in the Canberra Liberals, so it is a shame for Canberrans who are making that choice that there are certain pockets of suburbia, in particular concentrated in my electorate, where people are not enjoying the freedoms of a clean and healthy environment in the way that we would like them to, and especially in the way that we promote ourselves proudly to be able to offer Canberrans. I think that is really important.

I also think it is really important to stress my motivations to try to design a policy here that utilises money already allocated in the budget. The first few emails of correspondence I received after posting on social media this morning about my intentions to propose such a program came from the usual known quarters. I have a couple of serial emailers and serial commenters who, frankly, I do not think would vote for me in a red fit. They do like to tell me every time they think I am getting it wrong, and there was a suggestion made about the impost that this might cause to taxpayers: “Why should taxpayers be footing the bill for helping people to invest in the capital value of their asset, in terms of taking out wood heaters and replacing them with reverse cycles and whatnot?”

I would argue that the government spends a lot of money in lots of different ways. Lots of different governments of all political stripes right across the country spend a lot of different money in a lot of different ways to improve air quality and to improve

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