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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 10 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 4436..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

time to develop this framework. I wonder, from a public policy perspective, how we could possibly begin to put conditions around geosequestered carbon for 100,000 years. Why would we want to, when we have commercially viable clean energy technologies ready to go right now?

This debate is largely theoretical. However, I have been advised that the New South Wales legislation does not recognise geosequestration as an eligible activity. So there is no good reason for us to do so, given the government's desire for jurisdictional consistency. Geosequestration is environmentally dubious, socially irresponsible and very expensive.

The intergovernmental panel on climate change established by the World Meteorological Organization and the UN environment program has estimated that geosequestration will cost between $80 and $130 a tonne. This does not compare well with the multiple benefits offered by investment in clean energy technologies and in strategies to reduce demand. Geosequestration carries enormous public and environmental health risks, serves no-one but the fossil fuel industry, and should not be contemplated by this Assembly.

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism, Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming) (11.13): Three out of three-we will not be supporting this. As it currently stands, geosequestration is not an act of abatement activity. But it will be tested in Australia between now and 2008. I do not think that we should be shutting the door on any proposition that might assist in combating the impact of greenhouse gasses.

If geosequestration is to become part of the scheme, it must be approved as an activity, and a greenhouse rule will be developed around it. These rules are very strict and exacting to ensure that positive, measurable environmental activities are achieved. I do not think we should dismiss it. We oppose the amendment.

Proposed new clause 23A negatived.

Clauses 24 and 25, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 26 agreed to.

Remainder of bill, by leave, taken as a whole.

MRS DUNNE (11.15): Before we close the debate, I put on the record that this is not the end. I congratulate the government on taking this step. I have been critical of the government on its approach to greenhouse. As I said before, I hope that this is not just an attempt to attain some green kudos in the run-up to the election and that it is taken seriously by the other side.

I congratulate the minister for energy for managing to pass a green bill. We have seen him being dragged, kicking and screaming, on a whole range of issues, saying, "Oh, it's a daft idea and you don't really want to do that, and me mates at the National Energy Ministers' meeting won't want to talk me if you do that-"

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