Page 2573 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 2 July 2008

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MRS DUNNE: I am enjoying it immensely when I point out that the legislation that I tabled not an hour ago would actually require, rather than a 15 per cent target by 2015, a 20 per cent target the year before. I am sure that if these targets are introduced into this legislation, when we come back in August to debate our target legislation Dr Foskey and I could work to harmonise the targets and bring in some consequential amendments.

I will be supporting the targets because targets are important. It is one of the messages that the environment group have been giving the Stanhope government, as they have been giving them to Dr Foskey and to me. The community needs targets. You need milestones. You need to know how you are progressing along the way, and steadfastly refusing to have a target of any sort except the 2050 one means that there is no incentive to do anything about it.

It is like when you are at university or school and you are doing an assignment and you end up cramming the night before. If you are not going to do anything until two or three years before your 2050 target, you are not going to achieve it. It is the Prime Minister about elections: you cannot fatten a calf on market day. Well, you cannot meet your 2050 targets if you do not have targets for 2015 and 2020. That is why the Greens’ amendment is an important one, although it does not go far enough, and that is why we will be supporting it.

I think it is interesting that Mr Gentleman seems not to want to support an amendment that actually says that we have a set of objects to this legislation and the minister will promote them. I really do question how committed the Stanhope government is to renewable energy and meeting renewable energy targets when they will not even take it upon themselves the task of promoting the objects of what they say is their own legislation.

It is poor judgement on Mr Gentleman’s part and the Stanhope government’s part not to want to support their own objects and it is poor judgement on the government’s part to steadfastly refuse to take on targets. It is without a doubt the case that we will falter and sometimes we will not achieve those targets. That is why you have to set hard targets and you have to have a commitment to them. But I do not see anything in what Mr Gentleman has said or anything in the Weathering the Change strategy that shows that this government is committed or even is really engaged. They are just going through the motions.

We have got a glossy brochure. It is called Weathering the Change. It has got a nice catchy title but there is very little in it that will get us along the path of actually making real changes by 2050. If you are not prepared to make real changes today and next year and the year after that and measure what you are doing and analysing what you are doing and working out whether you have got a hope in hell of doing it, you will never get there. If we live under the regime of the Stanhope government, we will never meet these targets.

Question put:

That proposed new clauses 3A and 3B be agreed to.

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