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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 19 October 2010) . . Page.. 4580 ..

There will be opportunities; of that I have no doubt. Living in warm, comfortable, insulated homes is one such opportunity. It not only reduces energy consumption but can improve both physical and mental health. How can that not be seen as a win-win situation? And building a green economy right here in Canberra that can build a jobs base outside the public service, providing more jobs and more opportunities so that our young people stay in Canberra.

There will be opportunities in being ahead of the curve on the path to decarbonisation—better research, better industry experience, better skilled workforces. We must grab these opportunities with both hands; if we do not, we are turning our backs on everything that change has to offer a community. We are either burying our heads in the sand or perhaps accepting defeat, acknowledging that we cannot make it better. I will not accept any of those options, and I know that there are thousands of people in this town who do not accept those options.

This is the greatest moral challenge of our time, and we, the people of the ACT, are telling the world here today that this is a challenge that we are prepared to face. The Greens support this bill.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (11.56): Madam Deputy Speaker, I think we heard at the end of Mr Rattenbury’s speech just how little regard the Greens and government have for some of the serious questions that need to be asked about legislation such as this—that is, little things Mr Rattenbury tried to write off, like the cost on families, like the cost of living pressures. That is a fundamental difference in approach between the Liberal Party and the Greens and the Labor Party—that is, in taking strong environmental action, which we support, we will always have regard to the practical realities and we will always have regard to the potential costs on families. We make no apology for that. We will do that even if the Greens and the Labor Party feel that it is petty in some way to have regard to the cost of living pressures on Canberra families and for the potential increases in those cost of living pressures of certain environmental actions. We make no apology for that, Madam Deputy Speaker.

Today’s debate is not just about whether we should support cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. That debate has been had many times, and just as many times I have indicated that strong leadership on greenhouse gas reduction targets is a goal worth striving for and which the Canberra Liberals support. That is why we have a 30 per cent target in our legislation, which was introduced in 2008. That is why the Liberals showed leadership in government, being the first government to sign Kyoto and setting strong, early targets well ahead of the rest of the country. We do believe; we just happen to take a sensible and practical approach in doing so.

In 2005-06 the ACT’s per capita emissions were approximately 12 tonnes of carbon dioxide, which, while lower than any other state or territory, are increasing at a greater rate than national per capita emissions. From 2000 to 2006 ACT per capita emissions increased by 0.7 per cent per annum while national per capita emissions decreased by 0.6 per cent over the same period.

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