Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 8 Hansard (24 October) . . Page.. 1963 ..
Mr Humphries: Do not forget the lighted match in my teeth!
MR BERRY: That is right. He is a little old fire bomb thrower with bulging pockets containing all sorts of devices which are meant to wreak havoc on the environment. He has a chainsaw in one pocket, a gun in the other and, as he himself indicates, a box of matches in his shirt pocket. This sort of stuff might sound a bit humorous, but when you have a look - - -
MR SPEAKER: Bizarre, perhaps.
MR BERRY: To sensible people it may sound bizarre, Mr Speaker; but, when people see the effects on the environment, they will be horrified, and rightly so.
Mr Speaker, the next State of the Environment Report is the one we have to watch, because so far the Government has failed. One would hope that the areas in which it has failed will be picked up in the next State of the Environment Report. One thing for sure is that the Labor Party and its group of environmentalists will stand on guard and will point out to the community the failures of this Government as they occur, as we have done to this point. This afternoon's performance by Mr Humphries in relation to standing orders shows that he is prepared to do anything to avoid close criticism of his performance in the environment area. Such criticism would demonstrate how incapable he is.
MS HORODNY (4.29): Mr Speaker, we have heard the Government's response to the State of the Environment Report, and last week we saw the commitment of the Government and the Opposition to the environment when they both agreed to the continued destruction of our remaining native forests. While their rhetoric on environmental issues is expansive, their real commitment is close to non-existent. The Government says that it will have a stronger commitment to a regional approach to water management, and it is seeking to bring the ACT into full membership of the Murray-Darling Basin Commission. Yet, when the community, specialists and the Greens suggest that significant hydrological issues should be included in the terms of reference for the McKellar soccer development environmental impact assessment, the response is that water is not a significant issue.
While the Government may have adopted the Labor model of a glossy public relations strategy on greenhouse gas emissions, does it actually plan to do anything about it? It appears not. We only have to look at their attitude to ACTION. It is the old, "Let us cut the service a bit more". Over three years it is quite likely that we will end up with a significantly reduced service. In the budget papers we find the following interesting fact: At its current level of patronage ACTION saves 68,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, 2,645 tonnes of carbon monoxide, and 549 tonnes of nitrous oxide emissions each year. This is at a level of patronage and at a cost that the Government finds unsupportable. One would have hoped that the budget would have included performance indicators such as increased patronage in areas where usage is low.