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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (18 February) . . Page.. 284 ..

MR HARGREAVES (10.46): I note in the Government's response to the report quite a number of things which give me cause for concern. Also, I would like to record my disappointment in the actual report from the committee. Given that it was from the Third Assembly, I do not hold any of the current members responsible for that; but it seemed to me that there was an undue emphasis on the extent to which city lights and sporting facilities affect dark skies. I do not argue the toss particularly about the importance of it. It was the relative importance of public safety that I was a bit concerned about. I am more concerned about the absence of the Government's attention to that particular aspect.

What I see under "Short Term Actions" is fine. I have no problem with that. But what I see threaded through the government response is constant attention to how much any corrective action might cost. It says that there is a basis for further examination of the matter of "cost-effective and energy-saving lighting designed for a specific task which facilitates public safety, security and recreation". Yet there is precious little in this government response which actually tells us what they are going to do about that. I had some concern when I read that one crucial issue is what relative importance should be attached to the various components of the definition. I would have thought that the definition of public safety and security was pretty self-evident, particularly when this Government starts talking about "the importance that can be attached to quality outdoor lighting as opposed to other government and community priorities".

Mr Speaker, I would have thought it would have been a little bit more important to address the safety aspects of streetlighting for such things as town centre car parks than to invest many hundreds of thousands of dollars in a piece of concrete slab whacked up in six weeks. I might say that it was whacked up in six weeks, and for months and months people have been condemning it. I have been asking for many months for some corrective action to streetlighting down in Tuggeranong, but I have got absolutely nowhere. So, that just shows, in my view, what is the commitment to this.

Mr Speaker, I will not go through every element of this report, because some of it is fine; but on section 3 I want to concur and congratulate the Government. The recommendation is to improve the coordination of matters by identifying one government agency as having overall responsibility for setting lighting standards and monitoring the implementation of those standards. I think it is a great idea. All too often, when people have some concerns about any part of the infrastructure, they have a choice of three or four, or maybe even five, different parts of the bureaucracy that they need some assistance from. This is a positive step, and the Government needs to be congratulated for agreeing with that recommendation.

Section 7, under "Medium Term Recommendations", however, gave me a little bit of concern. The committee recommended:

the Government establish a body (comprising representatives of business, the tourist industry, police, government agencies and especially lighting professionals and retailers -

quite a few people -

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