Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 2 Hansard (20 February) . . Page.. 444 ..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
As members know, under the ACT self-government act we are empowered to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the territory. Issues relating to the proposed charcoal production facility at Mogo are clearly and unambiguously the responsibility of the New South Wales government. At the end of the day this is an issue for the New South Wales government, not for the ACT government. What is entirely proper and what we have done is to raise and pass on the concerns that our residents have had with the environmental impact statement's findings for the proposed site at Mogo.
I acknowledged in my letter to Mr Carr that this is an issue for the New South Wales government. However, I do believe that change can occur following discussions between governments on issues of concern. The New South Wales government extended the deadline for submissions from 21 December 2001 to 16 January 2002. I see no benefit in providing another submission well after the closing date. I do not consider this would benefit the decision, and it would certainly not assist our relationship with New South Wales.
The government does not support this motion. I find it rather coincidental that in the previous motion discussed in the Assembly it seemed to me, Ms Tucker and Ms Dundas, that you were seeking to be part of the government from your position on the crossbench, and in this particular motion you are seeking or wish to be part of the New South Wales government. I can recommend to both of them that you abandon the minority politics you are addicted to, join a significant and major party and aspire to government in your own right.
MRS DUNNE (6.02): Mr Speaker, I rise in support of Ms Tucker's motion. The scant 11/2 pages of comment on the EIS, a nearly 700-page EIS, on the metallurgical carbon facility proposed for Mogo is a disgrace. It says that Mr Stanhope is not a major player in this region and is not interested in regional development. He could not come up with a submission on a 700-page EIS that was even half the length of the submission of a voluntary body, the conservation council. It speaks volumes about the commitment of this government to regional development and the issues that affect the region.
The carbon plant at Mogo is a contentious issue, but it should be placed in the context of what it does for development in New South Wales and across Australia. We should be interested in the big picture. This is a big picture project. Irrespective of the merits or demerits of siting this facility at Mogo, this is part of an integrated approach that will have big long-term downstream benefits for all of Australia.
If we in Australia were in a position to economically produce silicon of the quality that is proposed for the Lithgow plant, we would see a plummeting price in photovoltaic cells and a whole range of instruments used in the photonics industry which would be to the benefit of our community in the long-term reduction in greenhouse emissions by coming up with better renewable resources.
The Chief Minister has been delinquent in his responsibilities. He gave an undertaking to Ms Tucker in this place to put in a submission, and what he has put in is an embarrassment. We should be looking at whether Mogo is the right place. There is a great deal of debate about that. Other places have been considered, including Bombala.