Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (11 April) . . Page.. 976 ..
MRS DUNNE (continuing):
Almost 30 years ago, a new piece of terminology crept into use and lodged in our collective psyche-energy crisis. Tension in the Middle East-again-led oil-producing countries into a price rise spree whereby oil prices quadrupled, fuelling inflation in the developed world and halting development in the Third World.
The unfolding scenario drove home to most of us the message that much of our prosperity depended on the exploitation of fossil fuels. Not only were these fuels both exhaustible and polluting, but also they were vulnerable to fluctuations in the geopolitical situation, especially as much of the world's oil reserves exist in one of the world's most politically unstable regions.
The sense of crisis was something that ultimately we learned to live with, but it did inspire some creative thinking and invention as to how we could continue to draw on energy resources but not foul the earth in the process, nor deplete the fuels we use. We have gradually come to accept the idea of sustainability-not only in relation to energy production and use, but also in relation to the environment and the way we create economic growth. I am a passionate believer in the idea of sustainability for the simple reason that, without it as a guiding principle, we simply do not have a future. We have had talk, discussions and ideas and we have had reports, surveys and feasibility studies. It is now time to step up the momentum, to begin translating some of these emerging ideas into reality.
Mr Speaker, I have a dream about Canberra. I believe that we are uniquely placed to do big things here, to demonstrate what is achievable, to show the political will to turn dreams into everyday reality. We were once hailed as a social laboratory. I believe that we should be again. I like to think that we can show not only other states and territories, but other nations as well, what can be achieved when peoples, governments and public and private sector institutions all join forces. I believe that we have the abilities, the knowledge base and the emerging technologies in the territory to start some serious thinking and look at delivering tomorrow, within our lifetimes.
In moving this motion, I am conscious of the fact that we are standing on the threshold of a new era-an era, despite its many challenges and difficulties, full of excitement and potential. Let us not shy away from ideas that might daunt us because they are new or untried. I do not think that we have time to be timid. I am disappointed that the fast train network proposal has been shelved-disappointed for Canberra and disappointed for the nation-due to a failure of vision to prevail. In the process that I am seeking to initiate today, I want vision to prevail and inform all our deliberations. Let us, like Macbeth, be bloody, bold and resolute. Some may say, and indeed already have said, that this motion is too broad in scope. Let me say to that: well and good. Let us not rule anything out because we are too cautious, too timid, too afraid of the future and too wedded to the past.
Much of the technology that I am talking about is already here. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the truly amazing Geoscience Australia building in Symonston, fronting Hindmarsh Drive, and that drove home to me that the future is already here. All we have to do is to reach out and grasp it. This building is one of Canberra's-indeed, the nation's-modern day wonders. It utilises in its design and technology advance passive solar energy efficiency and geothermal heating and cooling. What struck me