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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 21 October 2010) . . Page.. 4853 ..


You only need to look at, for instance, the debate over the Prius and environmentally friendly cars. I think everyone is in favour of having more environmentally friendly cars. But has the whole-of-life cost of cars like the Prius been incorporated into the analysis? The answer is no. No-one knows what the long-term costs will be, what the costs of the disposal of the batteries will be, what the long-term effects will be. And that is why we should be very cautious.

There should be appropriate economic analysis of this proposal. How can we, as a very small economy, achieve substantial reductions in carbon use? What consequences will result for our community from carbon reduction proposals? What consequences will result for our businesses from carbon reduction proposals? And what will happen to our economy following on from carbon reduction proposals?

It is very easy to develop targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and perhaps to develop proposals for carbon reduction strategies. It is much harder to develop proposals that are realistic responses to these targets and proposals. You cannot ignore the here and now. What this is is a blank cheque for the government, paid for by the people and the businesses of the ACT. We do not know how much this will cost and we should be asking those questions. Before we endorse this, we should be getting answers from the government about how they will achieve this.

This is not the way to make policy where no-one can stand—and I am hoping the minister will stand when I finish—and answer the questions. What are the practical things you will do? Who will pay for them? How do you prove the efficiency of these things? Are they sustainable, not just for the next 10 years but for the next 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 100 years? And will they bring the benefits that you say?

There are enormous opportunities here for sustainability industries that I have spoken of for a long time and that the Liberal Party have been speaking of since 1996. I bring forward Spark Solar again, an ACT firm with a great idea, an excellent product, a great prospect, which is receiving, the last time that I spoke to them, little or no assistance from the ACT government so that we can set up a sustainability industry in the ACT. This has been going on for two years now. It has been going on since before the 2008 election and yet the Greens-Labor coalition have not found a way to help this firm yet. That does not give me the confidence that you know what you are doing and you can achieve these targets. (Time expired.)

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (11.49), in reply: To respond to Mr Smyth’s challenge off the bat, of course Mr Smyth criticises the Labor government, and indeed the Greens, for what he alleges is a lack of analysis to determine how to achieve these targets. The Liberals are proposing a 30 per cent target. What are their strategies? What are their policies? What measures are they going to implement to achieve those targets? They have committed themselves to a target of 30 per cent. Indeed, they committed themselves to that target nearly two years ago. So where are their strategies? Where are their policies? Where are their measures and where are their costings that warrant their strategy? What is good for the goose is good for the gander.


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