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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 16 March 2010) . . Page.. 848 ..


convey information about any impact the Australian government initiative may have in the territory and on the community.

Let us be clear that the insulation scheme was a worthy and worthwhile initiative, though ambitious in scale. The Australian government program was designed to encourage and support homeowners to install or retrofit insulation to reduce energy use, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a laudable aim. This government supports the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and to this end is actively working towards our target of zero net emissions by 2060.

When my colleague Mr Corbell was asked about documents relating to the Australian government scheme, he was completely open in his account that this government was not a party to this program and that his department held no documents other than an information-sharing memorandum of understanding, a document that required the ACT government to share information with the Australian government. It did not tie the ACT to the scheme in any other way or require any work to be done by the ACT on the Australian government’s behalf.

You need to understand that. It was a federal scheme. Essentially, it shows just how confected this entire debate and motion are. We are talking here about a federal government scheme, a federal government initiative, federal government ideas, a federal government funded program—in relation to which, through an MOU, we had undertaken to share information. The Attorney-General had no administrative responsibility for this scheme, no responsibility for the management of this scheme—no responsibility in any way for this scheme or its management.

This really is the longest bow imaginable in relation to an attempt by an opposition to make a political issue out of anything. As the attorney, Simon Corbell, has said, it is a typical response of a lazy opposition and a lazy Leader of the Opposition with no ideas, with no policies to run, that do not want to do the hard yards, do not want to do the hard yakka, and that look for issues as spurious as this—a federal government program, federally initiated, federally managed, in relation to which they had all, total, administrative and other responsibility—in order to seek to tie or to make a link to an ACT government minister whose role as a fellow government was simply to provide information.

And then they confect this storm. It is actually not a storm; it really is quite pathetic. It is and will be seen by the people of Canberra as a pathetic attempt by a clueless opposition that is lazy, that struggles to get out of bed in the morning and come to work to do some real or genuine work on anything of substance. At the end of the day, that is all this is about. It is about a lazy opposition without any ideas or policies that is floundering, that does not know where to go, that is looking for a political issue and confecting an issue in relation to a commonwealth program.

It really is bizarre. It is absolutely bizarre. You have to ask why they are doing it. They are doing it for a headline. There is an easy headline in it—nothing more than that: a one-day wonder, a little bit of noise to remind people that they actually exist and that perhaps they do have a function. But there is nothing beyond that except an appalling waste of Assembly time, particularly on a day of executive business.


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