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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 13 May 2021) . . Page.. 1464 ..

Environment—Climate Change Action Plan

MS CASTLEY: My question is to the Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction. I refer to a Canberra Times article from 20 April 2012 in which the ACT Greens criticised the Labor government for not doing an annual review of its 2007 Climate Change Action Plan, as was recommended by the ACT sustainability and environment commissioner. At that time the Greens did their own review, with you, Mr Rattenbury, slamming the government’s performance as poor and dismissing what you called the government’s “wishy-washy action points where we don’t know if we’ve made a difference or not”. My question relates to the difference being achieved by the current climate change strategy that was introduced in 2019. Minister, how will each of the measures in this current strategy reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and how will it be measured?

MR RATTENBURY: Sadly, I only have two minutes to talk about this!

Mrs Jones: Finally, the question you want.

MR RATTENBURY: Exactly; this was not even from my own team, but this is great. There are 97 actions, if I remember rightly, in the action plan. Obviously, there is a lot of detail in there. It is my intention that we will provide annual reporting on the action plan. That did not happen last year, having regard to COVID and the election cycle. From 2019 to 2020, that has not got underway. But I have made it clear to my agencies that I do want to have regular and transparent reporting on this, so that the community, as well as members of this place, if they are interested, can keep an eye on what is happening with the actions. I expect to have that provided. I am happy to think about the best way to do that. We do provide an annual minister’s statement on climate change action. That might be the correct vehicle, but I am thinking about the best way to do it.

MS CASTLEY: Is each measure in the current strategy assessed on its cost effectiveness for reducing emissions, so that Canberrans can be sure we are getting the best bang for our buck, rather than the wishy-washy actions, which your first criticisms of the government’s first climate change strategy, referred to?

MR RATTENBURY: I am very pleased to assure the member for Yerrabi that this process, during the last term, was put together after extensive community consultation. We went out and asked the community for their ideas. We received over a thousand suggestions—a thousand specific policy proposals from the community. Some of those overlapped. That was all distilled down through work by government agencies and by various other expertise. The measures that are in there then went through cabinet; they went through a range of government circulation processes. So they have had quite a bit of honing. There is still work to be done on the specific implementation. As we work through those, we want to find the way to deliver those actions that delivers the most emissions reduction at the most cost-effective price. That will be a series of ongoing pieces of work over the coming years as this strategy is implemented.

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