Page 3242 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 13 November 2007

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move away—from the New South Wales scheme. I did not say a single word about not participating in it; I said we should set stronger benchmarks—and that is not so hard for us to do. We are not a municipality that has coalminers knocking at our doors. We do not have aluminium smelters asking for cheap electricity here. So it is something we could do.

We have just had tabled an appropriation bill which proposes many millions of dollars of expenditure, some of it on reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. My office does not have the resources of government to do this work but I fail to understand why we cannot have an investigation to find out what would be required to set up the scheme. Perhaps even the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of New South Wales could administer this aspect for us. What we need to know really is how much electricity we consume and how many greenhouse gases we produce. The reporting happens anyway. We are already reporting to IPART and we would just be changing the terms in which we report. I do not know how it would be done, but I would have liked the government to have told us exactly why it is logically difficult or impractical for us to do it. I would have had more faith in the government’s rejection of my amendment if I had heard good, sound reasons for it.

Many of the changes that we are going to have to make to combat climate change will not be desirable. We may have to move away from other states. We cannot know. At the moment we have all Labor states and yet we have a diversity of ways that states and territories are going about reducing climate change. If we have a Labor federal government, there is no guarantee that we will all be in accord and singing from the same hymn sheet. In fact, I think it is highly unlikely because I think that there are different sorts of pressures apart from the party political ones. Consequently, we will need to consider far more difficult actions than this simple one that people would not even notice. I think it would be a political feather in the cap of our government and it would strengthen our ability to lobby the New South Wales government to strengthen their own scheme. Of course they are happy for us to be a part of their scheme. Of course they are not going to like the implicit criticism in us setting stronger targets.

When a party such as the Greens moves an amendment, we do not do it lightly. We did not do this for political impact. We did it to suggest to government a way that it could make this scheme something that works. We submitted our amendments to the government in time for it to consider them. I would have liked some evidence that some work was done so that the rejection of my amendment was done in a way that I could respect as being based on sound, economic, scientific or other analysis.

Question put:

That amendment No 1 be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

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