Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 19 October 2010) . . Page.. 4662 ..
That really was a wide-ranging inquiry. It gave an opportunity to have a conversation with the Canberra community and to seek a range of views—to seek input from the ANU and academic institutions, from normal people out there in the suburbs who are really trying to make a difference in their daily lives through to business and other sectors. That gave us a great insight into a feeling out there across Canberra that the ACT should be a leader in Australia—that it was our responsibility, that we were up for the challenge and that we had some great opportunities here to achieve that target and to be able to reposition ourselves, for instance to reposition our economy by looking at more clean, green jobs and the sorts of businesses and industries that go along with that.
I would like to acknowledge the hard work that was put in there. I think that that very much provided a lot of information and direction that I am pleased to say the ACT government did take on board. It has resulted in us this week debating this very important bill, the Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Bill 2010. I am pleased to support the bill.
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.41): This is an important bill, and there is a level of unanimity in this chamber on the issues. There is no doubt that all of the members in this place agree that the ACT should have climate change greenhouse gas emission targets. It is with some pride that I stand here as a member of the Canberra Liberals, because it was the Canberra Liberals who led the way on this. Not only did we lead the way in 2007, when I had the privilege to introduce into the Assembly the first climate change target emissions bill, but we did so back before that, in 1997, when Canberra, under the Liberals, was the first jurisdiction in Australia to sign up to Kyoto-like emission target reductions at that time.
Part of what Ms Hunter says is correct. Setting the targets is the easy part. As we found through the first part of the greenhouse gas reduction program and the strategies, it was very hard to do, and it will continue to be hard to do. I think this is where we depart from the rest of the chamber on this. The mechanism that was set up in the bill that we are debating here today presented by Mr Seselja is, in many ways, a better mechanism for dealing with those very stringent targets, those very difficult targets. Most of that has been thrown out by this government or will be thrown out by this government, with the connivance of the Greens.
The Climate Change (Greenhouse Gas Emission Targets) Bill 2008 (No 2) has a lot more mechanisms, a lot more grunt, behind it. That makes the whole process much more accountable. Mr Seselja touched on this this morning. This bill sets a range of interim targets, not just for greenhouse gas reductions but for those things which inform that. It sets interim targets for reductions in per capita use of electricity and also sets targets for the use of renewable energy—sets them in the legislation.
The interesting thing about that is that there are two mechanisms for reporting in this legislation. One is the minister’s annual report, which is, to some extent, reflected in the government’s bill; the second is a two-year report on progress and what needs to be done to ensure that we are meeting those requirements. That is not here. The single biggest criticism that I and the Canberra Liberals have had of the Stanhope and Labor