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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 7 May 2008) . . Page.. 1538 ..

“Power plant plan generates Government deception claims”, so, again, it is just adding fuel to a fire that already smoulders fairly continually in Macarthur because of their treatment by this government over the past five years.

It is not assisted by this amendment by the minister. This is the standard “up you” amendment that the government move so often when they hijack a motion from a non-government member. It came up in the discussion about the standing orders, Mr Speaker, and I put forward the proposition—I hope you recall this; I am sure you will—that, if you do not agree with a motion, just vote it down, so that people know exactly where you stand.

I hope the government have the good grace to at least agree to Mr Pratt’s extension of the motion. Otherwise, what they do is fundamentally change the motion, and that is what is upsetting people out there: the arrogance of the government to use their numbers so that their record looks squeaky clean. Anybody coming back to the Hansard will see that these motions were passed by the Assembly and therefore have the weight of the Assembly behind them.

This is not what the community want. They want to be included. They have raised serious objections. They want to know that they are being taken seriously. They want to know that they are being heard, and they want to know that their government is going to do something on their behalf. I think from today’s actions by the minister, by some of his words and by the amendment that he has moved, they will know that the message is not getting through to the minister, and I am sure they will raise their voices even louder.

MS MacDONALD (Brindabella) (4.48): Mr Speaker, the government is strongly of the view that ActewAGL’s proposed gas-fired power station has the potential, and I say “the potential”, to provide substantial economic employment benefits to the ACT and local region. This is an innovative project that can provide new and exciting opportunities. With the growing use of digital information, data centres are becoming increasingly important to business and government operations.

It has been maintained through various studies that the use of IT equipment has the potential to improve energy efficiency throughout the economy. For instance, IT communications can reduce freight and transportation costs. The gas-fired electricity generation plant has the potential to supplement the local region’s energy requirements and represents a better alternative to coal-fire-generated electricity.

The proposed development has received strong support from the IT industry and presents a number of significant potential benefits for the ACT community, including $1.7 billion-plus in direct investment for Canberra, promoting economic growth, attracting technology-based industries, businesses and government agencies to the ACT; multimillion dollar economic growth through investment, construction and employment; creation of approximately 400 new jobs; a direct capital injection of $613 million to the territory economy, as well as $300 million via indirect benefits; no impact on domestic gas or electricity tariffs for Canberra residents and businesses; improved utilisation of the ActewAGL infrastructure assets; enhanced security of the ACT’s electricity supply, reduced greenhouse gas emissions compared to if the

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