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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 1645 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

workplaces is currently being reviewed to assess its effectiveness. The ACT house energy rating scheme was implemented in 1996. We are now reviewing the scheme to evaluate its success in increasing the energy efficiency of new houses.

The draft greenhouse strategy includes a range of other proposed and potential measures. Many represent community views and are included to seek wider public comment. These measures will require discussion and full evaluation to determine their effectiveness in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and their level of acceptance to the ACT community. It is important that the commercial and industry sectors be involved in consultation to enable the introduction of acceptable, realistic and effective measures in the final strategy due to be released early next year.

I look forward to hearing what measures the community believes will be the most achievable and effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It is important that this consultation process produce actions that will stamp the ACT as the leading jurisdiction in addressing greenhouse gas reduction targets.

MR CORBELL (3.35): It is pleasing to see the Government come forward with this draft ACT greenhouse strategy. This is a welcome step for the Territory Government. Greenhouse gas emissions and the environmental problems which everyone in our community faces are important issues, and I am pleased to see the Minister announcing this strategy today. It would be remiss of me, though, if I did not address some of the concerns that the Labor Party has on a range of issues associated with this strategy. I have to remind members in this place of the comments made by Mr Humphries when he was Minister for the Environment last year. He stood up in this house and said that there was no scientific evidence to prove that the greenhouse effect existed. He made a great effort to dispute the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, saying that that evidence was not sufficient to prove that the greenhouse problem existed.

I am pleased to see that Mr Humphries has changed his mind and I am pleased to see that Minister Smyth does not believe in that absolute rubbish which Mr Humphries was putting forward last year. The reality is that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has produced overwhelming scientific evidence that the greenhouse effect is real and will have wide-ranging and significant consequences for every single one of us, regardless of where we live and regardless of how we live. For that reason, the Government is to be commended for bringing the strategy forward today.

I would like to comment on a number of measures the draft report has identified as measures the Government is already working on. The first is encouraging people to use ACTION buses instead of their cars. I do not know what other members in this place think, but from the Labor Party's point of view the recent decision by the Government to introduce a zonal fare structure is probably the worst course in trying to get people out of their vehicles and into public transport. The zonal transport system is not effective.

Mr Smyth: You supported it last year.

MR CORBELL: I hear the Minister interject. He says that last year we supported the zonal system proposed in the Graham report. I presume that is what the Minister is referring to. Am I right, Mr Minister?

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