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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 November 2007) . . Page.. 3606 ..


principles of sustainability into written documents is one thing—and of course the Chief Minister is right: the word “sustainability” appears in many of the government’s documents—but implementing it is another matter and that is what the legislation is all about.

I do not think that we needed to spend so much time debating climate change here today. It became one of those issues—a football regularly kicked between the opposition and the government. I do not feel that Mr Stefaniak seriously engaged with my motion in terms of the legislation. He was too easily distracted by the Chief Minister’s insults and comments about the earlier climate change strategy. Paragraph (4) of the government’s amendment says:

Notes that the Government will amend the Commissioner for the Environment Act 1993 to expand the role of the Commissioner to include responsibility within the Commission specifically for sustainability …

That is really good and that is something that we have had coming for a while. What I would have liked to have seen in the amendment, because the amendment will become the motion, is a commitment to developing legislation on sustainability particularly or an indication that the government has actually decided not to do that. I have not heard from the Chief Minister whether the government is not going to produce sustainability legislation, and in that case has reneged on an election promise. I think those sorts of things should be declared and the reason given. I have not heard that today; perhaps we will see it in the media release later on.

I applaud everything the government has done to further sustainability. I have urged it today to implement its election promise of sustainability legislation. As I said, I know considerable work was done on that topic within the Office of Sustainability. I would love to see that work that was done because I am sure that it is something the community is waiting for and would really want to contribute to.

I was interested to hear that the Chief Minister is still referring to the Sustainability Expert Reference Group and that perhaps that group will meet again to advise him. I am also aware that today the commissioner for the environment is conducting a roundtable on grasslands with a number of key stakeholders, and I commend that as well. So there are good moves ahead, and the Greens applaud them. The Greens need to be here to continually bring these things up, even if it means we have to take quite a lot of flak in the process—apparently we do. Having only one vote is sometimes an impediment—

Mr Hargreaves: Sometimes an impediment.

DR FOSKEY: Sometimes, Mr Hargreaves—

Mr Hargreaves: You are the mistress of the understatement.

DR FOSKEY: It is an impediment to developing and implementing a Greens climate change strategy in the Assembly anyway. So thanks, members, for your contributions to this debate. It is something I will be pursuing. Obviously before the election we


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