Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (18 June) . . Page.. 2056 ..
Rather than give another job to a probably underresourced greenhouse strategy unit, the Planning and Environment Committee should take on, investigate and report on suitable means of reporting greenhouse gas emissions for businesses in the ACT. It's fitting that we should do so because we're currently already running an inquiry into energy efficiency and emissions, and it fits nicely into that. We don't have a reporting date on that. If members would like a quicker reporting date on this I would be happy to entertain it.
While I support Ms Dundas' motion in principle-and I think that it's a principle that we should be pursuing-I think that at this stage it actually doesn't give us results; it actually puts this off to a government organisation who hasn't been really very flash in terms of turning things around quickly. I think it's time that we actually got some results.
I commend Ms Dundas for bringing on this motion, but I hope that I have convinced members that the amendment that I propose will make it a better and more immediate initiative.
MRS CROSS(5.35): Mr Deputy Speaker, I rise today to support the motion by Ms Dundas and commend her for this motion calling on the ACT government to "legislate to require that businesses with a turnover above the payroll tax threshold of $1.25 million and all Territory owned entities including Government departments to publicly report their greenhouse gas emissions from electricity consumed in the ACT".
The ACT is one of the leaders in the public reporting of household greenhouse gas emissions. To ensure our excellent reputation as a world leader in the reporting of household greenhouse gas emissions is maintained, it is now time to take the next step and encourage all major business and government consumers of electricity in the ACT to be leaders in this field and show on the public record how they are contributing.
The public reporting of ACT businesses and government department greenhouse gas emissions will highlight those moving in the right direction and give those that are not as yet perhaps the impetus to do so. It may help in the move to conserving energy and start securing a safer, cleaner future environment.
Canberra is the garden city of Australia. Let us use the public reporting on ACT businesses and government departments greenhouse gas emissions from electricity as another opportunity to promote the Australian Capital Territory as a clean, green city-a place where everyone wants to live because of its clean air and its commitment to promoting and conserving the environment for the safety and future of all its people, its businesses and government departments.
The government, during the economic white paper process, articulated a vision of the ACT becoming an environmental leader. Here is another opportunity to support that vision. Conservation of energy is not just the responsibility of individuals. Business and government departments, as the biggest consumers of electricity in the Australian Capital Territory, are also responsible and have a duty. Their behaviour impacts on the lives of us all. Their behaviour in influencing the broader community is powerful. Their commitment to saving energy through cutting back on electricity consumption will save money and lower the impact of emissions on the environment. It will contribute to the environment and promote a cleaner, safer place to live and play.