Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 June 2008) . . Page.. 2005 ..
There are many measures that we should be looking at. For instance, the research done by the McKinsey consulting group tells us that the most cost-effective ways of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions involves low capital costs and low recurrent costs. There are plenty of interventions that are cost positive on a recurrent basis—they will save us money in the long term—and some have sufficiently low capital costs that they will repay themselves in under five years.
These are the things that the Stanhope government should have been doing over the years. They have been here for seven years and their contribution is to do away with one greenhouse gas strategy, have no greenhouse gas strategy, then have another one which is pretty much a replication of what was there in the first place, but no substantive policy initiatives to really address the quality of our housing and the rate at which we consume electricity in our houses, let alone in industry; they have not even touched industry.
This is an all right measure, but it should not be where we start. There is so much more that we could be doing to save money for people who live in very difficult circumstances. I commend Mr Gentleman for his initiative but I condemn the Stanhope government for its failure in so many other places.
MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (9.51): I was occasionally distracted, but I was not entirely clear from that speech whether Mrs Dunne indicated the opposition are opposing or supporting the bill. There was lots of criticism of the government that things could be done better. That was not completely evident to me, but I guess that will become evident as we proceed.
Mr Speaker, I am happy to speak on this bill today as it may mark a philosophical watershed moment on environmental matters that may well set the policy direction for the ACT in the years to come. This bill essentially poses the question of whether issues of cost and economics should be on the agenda when discussing climate change, or whether we are to proceed in disregard of all economic principles on the wave of indiscriminate environmentalism. If this bill is passed by the Assembly, then there are few climate change measures that would not be passed, regardless of their merit or cost.
In an attempt to avoid any distortions of my argument and the accusations of being anti-environmental that opposition to this bill will inevitably draw, let me state quite clearly that I believe the creation of renewable energy sources or resources is a highly worthwhile endeavour which will be one of the great environmental achievements of coming generations.
I am a strong supporter of renewable energy projects and projects to reduce reliance on sources of non-renewable energy. I have previously been very active in the corporate world in attempting to implement no-regrets environmental projects, to reduce energy consumption, and to ensure that companies are able to achieve environmentally beneficial outcomes in an economically sustainable manner.
I have also advocated both environmentally and economically sustainable policy in my time as the shadow minister for the environment. Although the ACT Liberal Party