Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 1647 ..
Ms Carnell: Do they work?
MR CORBELL: The Chief Minister asks whether they work. They do work. They work very strongly because they educate consumers and make sure that they buy the services and products that they know will reduce energy consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There is a concern that at the end of 12 months the Government will say, "We cannot afford to fund that service anymore" and it will no longer exist. That is the concern that we have on this side of the house.
There are a number of other measures here which the Government is to be commended for. They include generating electricity from methane gas at our landfills and ACTEW's efforts in exploring energy production services, although I am sure that Ms Tucker will stand up and make some comments about ACTEW's hedging contract with Yallourn Power, which of course burns brown coal, one of the most polluting of substances in energy production.
Overall, this draft strategy is to be welcomed. It is an important step forward, but the Government needs to be a little bit more conscious of what exactly it is promoting here. Most of the measures which the Government has claimed as achievements in energy efficiency have been in place for some time. They include insulation in homes and the energy rating scheme. Fundamentally, the major reform to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in this city will come through greater reductions in household energy use and in transport use.
I am yet to see a strong overall strategy from the Government that really makes major inroads into those two areas. Until we do that, we are really still tinkering at the surface. I hope that the Government will get some strong and positive feedback on this consultation document and that they will strengthen their greenhouse strategy to make sure that the strategy the ACT then has in place will effectively and strongly address what is a problem which we all must be very conscious of.
MS TUCKER (3.43): I welcome any initiative from government which addresses the greenhouse problem, although in the short time I have had to look at the draft strategy I cannot say there are any great surprises in it. I would support what Mr Corbell said. A lot of these initiatives we are well and truly familiar with. A number of the very important achievements of government resulted from motions by the Greens. They include the setting of targets and the necessity for waste plans to be tabled with development proposals for demolition. We argued strongly for methane as well. That is as one would expect it to be. It is fine that the Government did support those initiatives, but I have to say from first glance at this strategy that, once again, it is putting off any real action.
I have to support what Mr Corbell said about public transport and the fact that that is probably one of the major contributors to our greenhouse emissions. We will be having a debate on that subject tomorrow, so I will not go into it in detail. The zone system and the way the Government is handling our transport system at the moment are cause for great alarm. I do not believe that with the current proposals we are going to increase patronage. That has to be the ultimate aim. We have to make public transport more attractive than cars.