Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (18 February) . . Page.. 289 ..
MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):
that we had, you would need to change the location of the poles. That would clearly be a matter of very considerable expense to the Territory. That may or may not be necessary; but that was certainly the view that was put to the Government.
The other extraordinary thing, though - I am sorry that Mr Hargreaves has left - was the comments of Mr Hargreaves in this debate about how we need to improve public lighting in the ACT and that there should be more public lights in various public places. I do not know whether Mr Hargreaves has read this report; but this report is about reducing the impact of public lighting overall, not increasing it. It seems to me to be somewhat inconsistent to argue that the Government should be more fully picking up the issue of reducing the profile - at least in terms of light pollution into the sky - of lighting in the ACT and, by the same token, that it should be increasing public lighting in public places to improve safety. Regrettably, Mr Hargreaves seems to have those ironies wash over him fairly frequently without realising that they are actually happening.
Mr Speaker, I think that this government response is appropriate because, overall, whereas a significant change in direction on lighting may have some benefits, it would be delivered at a very considerable cost. And, frankly, I think the Government is right to acknowledge that, given the state of the ACT fiscus and the pressures that are on it at the moment, remodelling the Territory's lighting profile is simply not a high enough priority to demand a fuller response than the one that has been given.
MR CORBELL (11.06): Mr Speaker, in this debate this morning I first of all want to correct some comments by Mr Humphries. He suggested that my colleague Mr Hargreaves had missed the point of the standing committee's report on outdoor lighting. I would have to say, Mr Speaker, that that is not the case at all. I think what my colleague Mr Hargreaves was endeavouring to put forward was that we need a better quality of lighting for public safety in the ACT. I do not think Mr Hargreaves was suggesting that we need - - -
Mr Humphries: You were not even here. How would you know what he was saying?
MR CORBELL: Mr Humphries, there is this thing called a TV in my office, and I can listen to the debate on that. Mr Speaker, what my colleague Mr Hargreaves was saying, quite sensibly, was that there are issues to do with public safety that need to be addressed through more adequate and effective mechanisms of lighting in the ACT. Indeed, that is something that the outdoor lighting report itself addresses. That report says, quite sensibly, that there are aspects of inappropriate lighting that, whilst being seen to be bright and all-encompassing, actually make public spaces less safe than they could be if they were lit more appropriately. I think that what my colleague Mr Hargreaves was endeavouring to say was just that.
Mr Speaker, I had the opportunity to go on a night tour of Canberra with some of the people who were progressing this issue. I congratulate them on their efforts, because it certainly drew my attention to some of the serious deficiencies we have in the existing stock of public lighting in Canberra and the adverse impact it has on our night-time environment. There is not an occasion now, Mr Speaker, when I drive along at night and look at the streetlights, when I do not think, "Is that a full cut-off light or is it a partial cut-off light?". As you drive through various parts of Canberra, along various sections of