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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 19 October 2010) . . Page.. 4584 ..

I want to repeat that the Canberra Liberals support reduction. That is why we put forward the 30 per cent target well ahead of many other jurisdictions and well ahead of other parties in this place. That is why the previous Liberal government signed Kyoto. It was the first Australian government to do so. Back in 1997 it signed Kyoto and set strong medium-term targets.

The minister himself has indicated that to get to the 40 per cent target requires measures beyond what would ordinarily be expected in efficiencies and improvements to public transport. It is absolutely incumbent upon us to question this government. What are your plans? What will these plans cost, and how will they affect the territory? Without these answers this bill will remain nothing but a platitude; an opportunity to grab a headline. Without these answers, this bill gives the government a blank cheque to write whatever policies take their fancy. But, in the end, it is a cheque that must be paid for by the people of the ACT. Without these answers, the people of Canberra are left in the dark. It is simply not acceptable to set this target into law and have no regard for how it is to be achieved or how much it will cost households.

Mr Assistant Speaker, we will not be supporting this bill today. I commend the Liberal Party targets bill. I commend the strong and sensible action being advocated by us, and I commend the fact that it is absolutely critical that we take strong environmental action but at all times we consider the direct impact on the people of the ACT, the direct impact on families in the ACT. That is why our bill should be supported and the government’s should not.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Hargreaves): Thank you, Mr Seselja. Could I also remark on your addressing me during your speech as “Madam Deputy Speaker”. I thank you for recognising my gentler feminine side. Thank you very much.

MR BARR: (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Planning, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation and Minister for Gaming and Racing) (12.10): I am very pleased to speak in support of the Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Bill 2010. As members would be aware, in many contributions in this place, and most recently in the 2010 statement of planning intent, I have been on the record as saying that climate change changes everything and the implications of climate change for planning in Canberra are enormous.

I have observed in debates that the question of whether there is actually a problem has been resolved and the debate now should be about how to create solutions. It is critical to note here that there is a confluence of issues that amount to a challenge the size and complexity of which I do not think has ever been faced before by humanity. We must remember that this is not just a problem for today; climate change has dimensions which extend well beyond the current generation.

And it is not just climate change that we face: there is peak oil, population growth, demographic change, environmental degradation, water and food security, waste management, housing affordability, cost of infrastructure and services, pollution and, perhaps most importantly, social equity. All of these have a human dimension as well as an urban dimension.

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