Page 510 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 16 February 2005

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administrative perspective. The announcement will include an implementation plan, ensuring there is an appropriate degree of due diligence followed by the government and that industry and the community are engaged and consulted about the new initiatives being proposed. It is proposed to report back to the Assembly on a yearly basis on the progress of implementing these strategies in both the residential and commercial sectors.

For the reasons outlined above, I seek the Assembly’s support for the amendments and again I signal the government’s support for the amendment to be moved by Mr Seselja. I look forward to the opposition’s support for the amendments and of course I am really looking forward to Dr Foskey’s overwhelming endorsement of our amendments.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (4.24): I do not suppose it comes as any surprise that I am extremely disappointed by the government’s response to our motion. It really does make empty the so-oft repeated words “our commitment to sustainability”. The Greens see our role as helping the government turn that rhetorical commitment into practical steps and I do not think you could have found a motion that offered more ways for the government to achieve its own declared aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The amendments water down our motion to a sort of “we’ll investigate” with the wording “encourages the government”. We do not want to just encourage the government; we want the government to bring the ACT up at least to the level of our neighbouring area. Nonetheless, I do acknowledge that the spirit of the government’s motion at least is that it sees the need to move to mandatory sustainability targets, and that is good. We do have agreement on that.

However, the government, Mr Hargreaves claims, is still in the process of investigating tools. We just say this process could be short-circuited. We could save ourselves a lot of time, because that work has been happening already in the other states and in fact the BASIX tool is a tool that probably provides the most cost-effective means for the government to move this way, remembering that the border that exists between us and Queanbeyan is not actually a brick wall. We need to be able to work in harmony with our neighbour. I do not really think that we want to be behind them.

Mr Hargreaves also announces that the consultation with industry and other stakeholders has commenced and would be compromised if the government adopted mandatory targets now. I suspect that you could consult with industry and other stakeholders for a very long time, but I think on global warming the community expects the government to take the leadership. People expect the government to help us reach the targets that the community have generally endorsed.

It is very interesting that the government evokes a national framework when it suits it and yet also derides it when it suits it. We really do not see that there is a problem for the government in getting behind our motion as it exists. It is presented in the spirit of cooperation. The government and the opposition both said prior to the election that they were very keen to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, because they did catch on to the fact that the community expects this of the government. We will of course be voting against the amendments and we would also hope that the government might change its mind and withdraw those amendments.

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