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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 19 October 2005) . . Page.. 3840 ..


efficient process we now have with what is proposed in the amendments by Mrs Dunne. Mrs Dunne’s proposal is characterised by no consultation with responsible land managers, no guidance for land managers for when they should defer burns because of the risk posed to the public, and no overt role for the ESA.

I was hoping to have Mr Smyth in the chamber for this part of my speech. I understand Mrs Dunne’s interest in back-burning after the back-burn that has occurred in the opposition party room recently. It appears the opposition leader has seen the fire coming and has used his expertise gained at Guises Creek to cut down the fuel load burning up behind Mr Mulcahy. Well, keep it up, Mr Smyth; I am much happier with you in the role than Mr Mulcahy. I am comfortable with Mr Smyth in the job. I was pleased with the result last year—pleased at being elected to Mr Smyth’s electorate with a larger vote than Mr Pratt, and pleased to see Labor, under the Jon Stanhope government, gain a majority vote for the first time in the ACT. Keep it up, Mr Smyth. We on this side are very happy with your work.

There is no need for this amending legislation, because it does not improve on the current process put in place some time ago by this government.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (12.03), in reply: It is with disappointment that I rise, because the minister and his companion have shown a sorry misunderstanding and a lack of understanding of the purposes of the bill. It means that they just do not get it and they probably did not read it.

I am not surprised at the treatise given by Dr Foskey about the evils of hazard reduction burning. It was pretty standard fare from Ms Tucker when she was a member of this place and it is pretty standard fare from the Greens. From time to time they do actually say they are in favour of hazard reduction burning, but only in perfect circumstances, which is always the case with the Greens. The Greens are often in favour of things, but they always set so many caveats that the perfect circumstance under which they would allow things to be done can never be found. It was the same with urban infill; the Greens in this place were always in favour of urban infill, not just the current proposal. The Greens say they are in favour of hazard reduction burns, but they can never find an appropriate circumstance.

It was interesting to hear Dr Foskey’s treatise on smoke pollution. You do not get an argument from me about smoke pollution. But this is not about smoke pollution. The single biggest contributor to smoke pollution in Canberra is open fires or wood-burning heaters in our homes. There are arguments for them and there are considerable arguments against them. There are considerable arguments against them, especially for the people in Tuggeranong, who seem to suffer more from inversions than those elsewhere. But Dr Foskey cast so wide and talked about the evil impacts of backyard burn-offs, which have been illegal in the ACT since the mid-eighties, I think, and definitely since the introduction of the Environment Protection Bill in 1997. She also talked about wood-fired industrial furnaces, which I understand are non-existent in the ACT, but I might stand corrected on that, and about greenhouse emissions.

Let us just talk about the greenhouse emissions that we experienced in the ACT during the bushfire emergency in 2003. We had more greenhouse emissions in those couple of days than you would have from every other source combined in the ACT in the course of


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