Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 10 Hansard (6 December) . . Page.. 2741 ..
Mr Humphries: When was that?
MR BERRY: Well back. It exposed the practice of fire equipment companies dumping ozone depleting substances in practice runs of fire equipment in buildings. Sometimes up to 100 kilos of the gas could be dumped in a practice run just to see whether the system worked. That was all stuff that would be damaging to the ozone layer. Thankfully, those practices are gone. This legislation, resulting from the activities of various ACT governments and the actions of the Federal Labor governments in responding to that Montreal Protocol, has resulted in positive action aimed at reducing that hole in the ozone layer which we know to be so damaging.
But the fight is not over yet. Ms Horodny has it right. There is a lot yet to be done in relation to this matter. It is up to us as politicians to ensure that we keep our shoulders to the wheel. This Bill is a sign that the Liberal minority Government opposite is prepared to continue with the fight to ensure that our environment becomes much improved and that the place where we live is a better place for human beings to be. The damage which has passed behind us, because of some of the activities which we have not responded to well, is going to take some years to repair. Those of us within the labour movement who have the responsibility to join with others to make those repairs will do so very happily. The Labor Opposition in this place will be supporting this Bill. We welcome the Government's action in relation to it.
MR MOORE (3.31): Mr Speaker, I think this is a particularly important piece of legislation and it is important that we deal with it now. The deadline here for us to work with the other States and the Federal Government is December this year. We have only something like three weeks of grace to have this legislation through and gazetted in order to ensure that we can keep up with action to prevent further degradation of the ozone layer. The ACT should be leading in these areas rather than coming in at the last moment. I think that the environmental consciousness of our community is, in fact, significantly higher than the environmental consciousness of many other communities across Australia. It is quite clear that even young people understand very clearly that our environment does need protection from the chlorofluorocarbons and other ozone depleting substances.
It is with pleasure, Mr Speaker, that I rise to support this legislation as the next step in protecting the ozone layer. It is important, too, that we take this next step rapidly. I must say, as an aside, Mr Speaker, that it is a little disappointing, in terms of the interest, that we do not have Dennis Stevenson here to present the flip side of this argument. We heard in this chamber on a number of occasions Mr Stevenson arguing that, in fact, there is no such thing as ozone depleting substances and there is no danger to the ozone layer. He put in a conspiracy theory. Conspiracy theories are always particularly entertaining to listen to, Mr Speaker. One of the things we miss this time around, I think, is that sort of entertainment about this issue. So it does occur to me that there is a sense in which we miss Mr Stevenson.