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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 13 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4007..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

The minister says, "Show us your ideas."We put in place a number of ideas at the last election. You can have all of them, Mr Hargreaves. They are all on the website. Go and gather them up. Of course the largest is the dam. To have a sustainable bush capital, you need water. I notice now that the government is rapidly backing away from their view of the world, or their promise, which was that we did not need a dam for another 20 years. Now, suddenly, we need another dam. It is interesting because almost three years ago we said that. There is a policy you can have if you want it. We are quite happy to be acknowledged for that as well.

You have to ask how successful we were as a previous government in delivering environmentally sustainable solutions. Is there a measure, or is there a judge, that says we achieved great things? I think the Beijing organising committee for the Olympics is a judge we can go to. When Beijing was looking around the world for an environmental partner to help them prove to the Olympic committee that they could deliver an environmentally friendly Olympic Games in Beijing, who did they sign up with? An ACT Liberal government; that is who.

Of all the programs I have just run through that we put in place, we were judged as the jurisdiction—the best in the world—to help Beijing prove to the Olympic organising committee that they could hold an environmentally friendly Olympic Games. Not only did we help them but they were successful because of the assistance we gave them in writing their submission, particularly on proving, on environmental grounds, that we could do it, that they could do it and that they could win. And they did.

It is pleasing to hear Mr Hargreaves say that Jon Stanhope has done wonders to get the environment into the dinner table conversation. I am not sure what concrete things Mr Hargreaves can actually point to. I think that, when most people talk about environmental issues around the dinner table these days, they are talking about their dead and dying gardens and the lack of action by this government after five years to improve the water supply to the ACT in a sustainable way.

In Chifley they are talking about things like the bio-bin trial not going ahead and being made permanent, even though it was very successful. They are probably talking about things like the Office of Sustainability. That was underfunded to start with and was then gutted. It is now irrelevant because—it is not a normal government agency—it is tucked away in territory and municipal services. They are talking about the fact that the greenhouse strategy that we had in place has gone and has not been replaced and that, despite all the talk and the promises, we are yet to see anything that this government is putting forward. That is the sort of dinner table conversation that Jon Stanhope has started. (Time expired.)

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (4.43): It is clear that the government has adopted various initiatives to support its agenda of delivering environmentally sustainable solutions in the ACT community. Public education and awareness-raising I think is one of the most important ones. I welcome the government's initiatives mentioned by my colleagues here today. However, we need to follow up on educating the community about what they can do to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions.


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