Page 517 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 16 February 2005

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Question so resolved in the affirmative.

MR SPEAKER: The question now is that Dr Foskey’s motion, as amended, be agreed to.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (4.56): This is a very interesting result and a sorry day. It is really interesting the way that Liberal and Labor vote together when it comes to something that involves real action and real change for the better.

I just want to round off the debate by reiterating that today we saw the Kyoto protocol ratified around the world, but some of us feel a little bit embarrassed that our own federal government is so weak that it could not itself ratify it. Because our federal government is so weak and refuses to support sustainable energy industries, for which we are so well set up with our excellent ability to create solar power, it is up to the territories and the states to make up for that slackness. However, when really the crunch comes, we find that neither Liberal nor Labor is interested.

MR SPEAKER: Order! It is disorderly to reflect on a vote of the Assembly. The Assembly has voted clearly in favour of a couple of amendments and it is inappropriate to reflect on those votes.

DR FOSKEY: Okay. Thank you. In speaking to Mr Seselja’s amendment, Mrs Dunne contradicted the things that I had said about the Liberal promises in the lead-up to the election. I have here the policy statement for the Liberal Party, which, at the time, we thought was really good. In fact, I think we might have thought that the Liberals were as green as the Greens. People who voted for the Liberal Party might have thought that they meant what they said when they said they would increase the mandatory house energy rating to five stars by 1 July this year, and then to six stars, and that they would mandate the installation of solar hot water systems in new houses regardless of the expense. We find that people have very short memories in this place.

I have already addressed the issues of affordability. If we had the commitment, we would be able to make it affordable for people to move to energy efficient dwellings with lower bills. Mrs Dunne also said that the Greens were very well intentioned. I appreciate that; but I also want her to note that we are actually well researched as well. We have done the work. We know this stuff. I think Ms Tucker had been trying for many years to get something like this happening, and I of course will not resile from my job as a Green. It is why people vote for us.

Every new development in the place is a lost opportunity. Kingston is an absolute lost opportunity. Those dwellings are certainly not five star. They are very low on the scale. We are seeing new developments being put up, established, at a great rate, and each one of them is a lost opportunity. This is why it is so important to pass this motion, to see the government take some action, so that building applications in a year’s time have to meet these standards.

Rome burned while the emperor fiddled. Global warming is a bit like that. The results will be on the heads of the other members of this Assembly. It is a sorry day.

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