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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 12 August 2015) . . Page.. 2791 ..


As I said, I wanted this inquiry done as a matter of urgency. It is independent. I have no control over the time that it takes. It must be done thoroughly; it must be done respectfully. As I understand it—this is on the public record—the review has been concluded and it now sits with an independent delegate. It is not for me to tell the delegate when he or she should make that decision. That is the basis of an independent review and an independent delegation.

I continue to receive correspondence from family and friends of family who are supportive of this approach. They understand; they want this concluded as well. So I ask all in this place to note, when any reference is made to it, that there are professionals involved; there is a family involved. Every time you choose to try and take a cheap political pop at me, you are going straight to the heart of their concern and their own personal dilemma at the moment. I think it is appalling, Mr Assistant Speaker Doszpot. It is a bit tricky when the one I am talking to is actually sitting in the chair.

We have also set up a hotline for the school so that contact can be made. As I understand it, on the last advice I got there had been fewer than five calls made to that service. So, yes, we need to get to the bottom of it, but let us be very mindful of the other side of this matter. It is about the school and the families, and we need to have respect and regard for that.

Having said that, I commend this wonderful investment. There is close on a billion dollars in this budget for education in this city. It is where we need to invest the money. Education is the key to opportunity, and it is the key to future endeavours of the next generation. I commend this budget to the Assembly.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Environment and Planning Directorate—schedule 1, part 1.10.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (8.20): I am pleased to speak today in this debate on the environment, in particular output class 2.1, environment, and output class 2.3, sustainability and climate change. The estimates committee this year considered a wide range of matters under these output classes, and I will touch very briefly on a few of them tonight, including renewable energy, the kangaroo fertility control trial and a few minor comments on other related matters.

Renewable energy has been a hot topic recently, and the ACT government, of course, has legislated a target of 90 per cent renewable energy by 2020. As the Minister for the Environment would know, I have raised on numerous occasions questions about the costs to average households for the commitment to renewable energy. In that regard the committee recommended that the ACT government examine the alternative analysis by the Energy Supply Association of Australia of future costs of the ACT’s renewable energy policy, confirm if the government’s projections are still valid and report its findings to the Legislative Assembly by the last sitting day of November 2016. The government noted this recommendation.


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