Page 4739 - Week 15 - Tuesday, 13 December 2005

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debate the subject of the question. It was not about the Liberal Party’s policy. He must answer the question: which scientists did he consult?

MR STANHOPE: This is classic pea and thimble. You introduce a strategy; you set a target; you are in government; and you do nothing. You lose government.

Mr Smyth: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: the question was not about what we did in government. The question was: what scientists did the Chief Minister consult? He must answer the question or at least make an attempt to do so.

MR SPEAKER: Come to the subject matter of the question.

MR STANHOPE: I am coming to the subject matter. The subject matter was cost. The issue was cost. I am explaining why, having been left with—

Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: the question was not about cost; it was about the experts that were consulted. The subject matter of the question was the experts.

MR SPEAKER: The subject matter of the question is the policy.

MR STANHOPE: The policy was a nonsense. We are in the process of introducing a far better one. I have to say that the eminent scientists who think this was relatively inexpensive could do something about helping us to find the money.

MRS DUNNE: Are you saying, Chief Minister, that people like Professor Pearman and Professor Andrew Blakers know less about climate change and energy policy than the people who constructed your strategy? Are you prepared to tell us which eminent scientists you consulted before you threw out the greenhouse strategy?

MR STANHOPE: I am prepared to say, in relation to Professor Andrew Blakers, that I believe members will recall the Liberal Party policy promise before the last election essentially to create a bank to fund solar units which Professor Blakers had invented and was working on. It was an interest-free scheme that the Liberal Party was going to create to allow, essentially, the retrofitting of every house in the ACT, at ACT government expense, with the cost of the retrofitting to be paid through Actew bills.

That was costed by the Office of Sustainability. It was costed at $70 million to outfit 10,000 houses. We have 120,000 houses in the ACT. It was costed at $70 million up front to retrofit 10,000 houses. That is $840 million. Professor Blakers, one of the eminent experts criticising the government for not achieving these proposed targets which the Liberal Party adopted before the last election as one of its policy positions, would, on the basis of advice from the Office of Sustainability, cost up front $840 million—$840 million to implement Professor Blakers’ scheme which the Liberal Party accepted and which Mrs Dunne campaigned on before the last election.

When the Liberal Party went out before the last election and, in the face of promises like that, said, “Vote for us as if your life depends on it,” you can understand why they did. They knew their lives depended on it. “Vote as if your life depends on it.” By golly, they did. They knew, with an opposition running around and making promises that they would institute and develop a bank to allow Professor Blakers’ product to be retrofitted

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