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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 7 Hansard (20 June) . . Page.. 1997 ..

Greenhouse Strategy

MS HORODNY: My question is directed to the Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning, Mr Humphries. Mr Humphries, this morning you made some wondrous claims about how good the ACT's greenhouse strategy is. May I therefore draw your attention to the 1994 and 1995 ACT State of the Environment Reports, which make some comments on this strategy. In particular, the 1994 report included a recommendation that the Commissioner for the Environment be provided with a report of strategies adopted and their quantitative impact each year in order to monitor progress and compliance with the ACT greenhouse strategy. The Government agreed to this recommendation and said that it would also begin revising the greenhouse strategy in 1995-96. However, the 1995 State of the Environment Report noted that an annual progress report on the greenhouse strategy had not been received from the Government and I understand that the commissioner still has not received any report from you. Could you please explain why the Government has not met its commitment to provide annual progress reports on the implementation of its greenhouse strategy and does not appear to be undertaking any review of the strategy as promised?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, as usual, Ms Horodny has got her facts wrong. First of all, the claim that she was making before was that the Government did not have any greenhouse strategy. That is quite untrue. As I indicated this morning, both the previous Government and this Government have worked very hard to develop strategies on greenhouse. I do not pretend that we have invented our strategy. We inherited one from the previous Government which we have continued without significant modification. We believe that that strategy is an appropriate one. The ACT produces probably less than one per cent of the total greenhouse gas emissions in this country, which might be, and probably is, considered to be a very low contribution overall compared with other jurisdictions; but we accept that we need to be doing the best we can to reduce even further the levels that we are contributing to.

There are a number of things I could run through - I ran through them this morning - that the ACT is doing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There are things like implementation of the eco-workplace program, the house energy rating scheme that Mr Wood was responsible for, the bicycle strategy, and extracting methane gas from ACT landfill, which Mr De Domenico referred to yesterday. Mr Speaker, as I have said, we have taken those policies and we have continued them. We continue to build on them. We believe that we are making an important contribution to the way in which greenhouse gases are being reduced in this city as well as in this country. Members will know - probably the Greens do not know - that the Commonwealth is in the process of conducting a kind of inventory of greenhouse gas emissions to work out the total contributions being made by various places in Australia. The ACT, if it wished, could undertake separate work to determine its own contribution. I think that would be unnecessary and unproductive.

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