Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (18 June) . . Page.. 2053 ..
Ms Tucker, I think quite rightly, makes the point that we haven't put a serious enough focus on making sort of pro rata gains in relation to our commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the ACT. I think we need to be tougher and more assiduous in meeting the targets and the aims of the plan. Though much is being done-and, as I say, over a million dollars was spent in this current financial year-just under $11/2 million has been devoted to implementation of greenhouse gas strategy initiatives in the coming financial year.
Ms Dundas, in her motion, does point to a couple of initiatives that would of course seek to provide some additional focus to energy use, the motion being that the government "legislate to require all businesses with a turnover above the payroll tax threshold and all Territory owned entities including Government departments to publicly report their greenhouse gas emissions from electricity consumed in the ACT."I have no difficulty with the sentiment of the motion, though I do have some concerns around the notion that we should legislate to require, particularly, private sector businesses to report on their greenhouse gas emissions from electricity consumed in the ACT.
I think there is a significant school of thought-one which I accept-that legislating particularly for the private sector to report on emissions is not necessarily either effective or particularly informative because there are so many variables in relation to all entities, not just private sector entities but indeed government or territory owned entities.
Interestingly-and there is a model, a model perhaps which the ACT could implement, and that of course is the model established by the federal government-the greenhouse challenge, which the federal government has initiated, is a joint voluntary initiative between the Commonwealth government and industry to abate greenhouse gas emissions. The federal government launched the greenhouse challenge in 1995. I'm advised that it has proven particularly successful in achieving greenhouse gas abatement and in building the capacity of industry to identify, monitor, manage and report greenhouse gas emissions.
Indeed, a number of ACT businesses are already partners in the greenhouse challenge, and the ACT government is also committed to continuing support for the participation by business in that challenge. The ACT government eco-business and energy performance contracts for commercial buildings also support participation by business in energy saving measures.
The reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from territory owned entities is provided for, in fact, in the ACT greenhouse strategy, the strategy which was introduced by the previous government. Overall targets have been established, and individual agencies have developed preliminary action plans for increasing energy efficiency in government owned or tenanted buildings. Monitoring of energy use is in place, an inventory of current energy use has also been established, but public reporting hasn't been undertaken. Ms Tucker alluded to the fact that it hasn't been undertaken.
One of the explanations that have been given to me for that is that methods for measuring emission levels are continuing to evolve and we haven't reported at this stage. I think that's got to cease. I believe that that's got to end. We need to get serious about this and we need to ensure that we are fully implementing and fully reporting on measures that particularly government departments are taking.