Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (18 June) . . Page.. 2055 ..
step on the part of the ACT Liberals, and it was the vision of Gary Humphries our former colleague who brought it to this place.
Much has been said about the faltering on the road since then. I'm actually grateful to the minister for his admissions that we might have fumbled the ball on this one-probably not dropped the ball; that would be too harsh, Mr Deputy Speaker, but we have fumbled the ball on this. We should have been doing better, and I congratulate Ms Dundas for bringing in this motion today as a means of ensuring that we do do better and that we do have a better, more effective set of greenhouse strategies.
I hear, and I've noted in the past, the Chief Minister's assertion that we're having a full and comprehensive review of the greenhouse strategy-and that's to be applauded-but I also highlight the remark that he made that somewhere along the line we have to draw a line in the sand, Mr Deputy Speaker, and actually stop reviewing and start doing. I think that this is the time to do it.
I note, as Ms Dundas has, that the ACT Labor Party had committed itself to ensuring that commercial and other bodies disclose information on pollution emissions and energy consumption; but, like many things in the ACT Labor Party platform, it looks good; we can talk the talk, but so far we haven't walked the walk. We are now 18 months and two budgets into the term of this ALP government and we don't see any evidence of the right-to-know legislation that would require this to happen.
I did notice a certain reluctance on the part of the current minister when it came to the issue of legislating for private organisations to report. He is right; reporting can be misleading. Sometimes we're not comparing apples with apples, not even apples with pears; often we're comparing apples with oranges. We have to be careful that, when we do set up a regime, it is a regime that does provide for adequate and meaningful reporting, which brings me to the amendment that I have brought.
While I agree, and the Liberal Party agrees, in principle with Ms Dundas' motion, I do see that there are a few problems-a couple of problems. The first one is that Ms Dundas' motion tips us back onto the bureaucracy which, as we have all seen-and most people have attested to this today-have been tardy, have fumbled the ball on this. We are giving them another task to come up with another piece of legislation to do something.
Mr Deputy Speaker, come 1 July, everyone who receives an electricity bill will get the information about their greenhouse consumption. It is not beyond the wit of government agencies to report on that. We've had a commitment since the signing up to the greenhouse strategy in, I think, 1997 that we should report on this. The minister has said, "Well, we've now got to draw the line and do it; okay, let's do it."This is why my amendment does what it does: it actually requires the government to lead by example.
If we're going to have an effective greenhouse strategy, we-the government, the people who actually make the laws-should lead by example. This is what my motion does: it means that government agencies-and not just departments but government owned entities who will have the capacity by 1 July to know what their greenhouse emissions are-should report from now.