Page 1972 - Week 06 - Thursday, 9 June 2022

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Gone is the government that insisted we could spur a recovery from a global pandemic by burning fossil fuels—the so-called gas-led recovery. Look where that has got us! What kind of twisted nonsense was that? Instead, I am hopeful—and I will certainly be exploring the opportunities—that the ACT will work closely with the federal government on our nation-leading gas transition. In the ACT we are committed to phasing out fossil fuel gas by 2045 at the latest—a policy that is a critical response to climate change, but which will also extend so many benefits to our population, from health benefits to reduced costs. As I touched on in question time, I am certainly encouraged by the manner in which the new federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy has started discussions with energy ministers, and I look forward to further collaboration in that space.

As the water minister I also look forward to working with the federal government and Minister Plibersek to progress a range of reforms to improve water quality and waterway health, address water security, and use water more efficiently. I have key water priorities that I will raise imminently with the new minister. These include a major project to improve water-use efficiency in the ACT; ongoing work on the ACT healthy waterways projects to include local waterway health and water quality, which I know is of interest to a lot of members in this chamber; collaborating to improve the health of the Murray-Darling River system; and delivering cultural flows and enabling greater decision-making and participation for First Nations people along the river system.

Lastly, in the consumer affairs space, I will also be seeking to advance the outcomes from the major inquiry into the right to repair, conducted by the Productivity Commission last year. This is a ground-breaking report on a ground-breaking concept. Advancing the right to repair can deliver better outcomes for consumers who rightly expect their products to last for a reasonable period. It is also an important response to the challenge of waste, especially electronic waste, and a means to save resources in general. Virtually all of the recommendations were in the space of the federal government, and I will be seeking to have these implemented with priority on behalf of ACT consumers.

In conclusion, I again congratulate the new government. There are great opportunities for us to work together in the ACT. I note that Mr Albanese has said that he will live most of his time in The Lodge, which I think is a great outcome for this city, and will help ground him in the day-to-day realities, needs and challenges of this special city. I am optimistic for the next three years, and challenge the new government to pay heed to the message delivered to it by voters, and to go boldly.

MR PETTERSSON (Yerrabi) (3.44), in reply: I appreciate the chance to respond and close the debate, because elections are important. Elections shape our nation, and they shape our city. The results of 21 May will affect what goes on in this chamber for a very long time. Some in this chamber might like to pretend that the election did not happen, but—bad news!—it did. Or it may have been good news—I can see Ms Stephen-Smith—depending on which side of the chamber you are on.

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