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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 21 October 2010) . . Page.. 4925 ..


MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (5.25): I agree with Ms Le Couteur. It is interesting when you go to the website that has the climate change strategy, weathering the change. The third principle that the Chief Minister outlines is that to delay activity is to cost more. But we have actually had nine years of delay. We have actually had nine years without leadership. We have had nine years without a strategy. We have had nine years of a government bereft of ideas. It seems that today it all comes down to one number. As Mr Corbell described it earlier today, it is a magic number.

When I hear the words “the magic number” from a minister, it starts to scare me. I do not know whether he has conjured it up. I do not know whether the druids told him. I do not know whether he found it at Stonehenge on his tour of solar sites in the Northern Hemisphere. But if the wizards are talking to you and you are hearing magic numbers, then I get very scared.

When you look at the climate change document that the Chief Minister provided, you do wonder about this government’s commitment to the whole issue of climate change. When you go through the principles that are driving this, people should be very worried. We are told that delaying or ignoring a response would be dangerous and much more costly in the long term. Apply that statement to the last nine years of Labor government. I will say it again: from the Chief Minister’s own strategy, we are told that delaying or ignoring a response would be dangerous and much more costly in the long term.

Couple that with Mr Corbell’s statement earlier this day where he said that this bill is an important opportunity for the ACT to once again establish itself as a leader. Implicit in that statement is the criticism that every environment minister before him of his government has failed. We have not led. We have not done anything. Now he wants us to believe, because he has a magic number, that he has got the magic solution to this problem. I accept what Ms Le Couteur says. There are other costs here. But as I said earlier today, you cannot just say, “Let us address this issue.”

Everybody talks about triple bottom line until it does not suit their argument. Then somebody says, “Let’s talk about the social only,” or, “Let’s talk about the environment only.” You have to take them all together. If you do not take them all together, it is like the old surgeon’s code or the doctor’s code: first, do no harm. You do not know how you are getting there and what it will cost. We have a government that has not done the work and that has ignored the problem for nine years. They had initiatives. As Mrs Dunne pointed out, they got a roasting from Joe Baker, the former commissioner for the environment and from the Auditor-General over abandoning no waste by 2010. But today, magically, they want us to believe that 40 is the number.

They have made no case. There is no plan. There are no costings. As I said earlier, the only person making fraudulent arguments in this place is Mr Corbell. The amendment should be supported.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (5.29): I was not planning to speak again but I do want to pick up very briefly on this point around the 40 per cent and the increasing suggestions from the opposition about where this might come from. We have heard it


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