Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 26 August 2008) . . Page.. 3637 ..
MRS DUNNE: It is the slightly Luddite approach of the Greens that somehow, in a carbon constrained future, we would like to see the end of air travel.
Dr Foskey: Is that right?
MR SPEAKER: I warn you, Dr Foskey.
MRS DUNNE: I do not think that this is a sensible way to go forward when we consider the high safety record of travel by air compared to other means of mass transit or private transport. It is extraordinarily safe. There are issues in relation to vapours and CO2 which need to be addressed, yes, and we need to find ways to have those offset, but to take the attitude that in a carbon constrained future people will not be flying is unrealistic on Dr Foskey’s part. We should be taking a forward-thinking and innovative approach to these issues rather than a Luddite approach.
Dr Foskey: Excuse me.
MR SPEAKER: Point of order, Dr Foskey?
Dr Foskey: Yes, it was a point of order. I was misrepresented there.
MR SPEAKER: That is not a point of order. It may be a debating point, but this is not a debate; it is a discussion of a matter of public importance. You may wish to raise it as a standing order 46 intervention if you have been misrepresented, but why don’t we wait until after the discussion of the matter of public importance has concluded.
MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (4.34): Mr Speaker, I am not going to join the bandwagon of criticising the airport out of hand. It seems that there are a considerable number of people in the town who seem to resent the airport and its owners. Certainly I think most people in Canberra would be aware of the sometimes escalating animosity that has existed on occasions between the airport and the government. However, I do note that relations have improved in recent times and I congratulate both on the cooperative approach to developing the roads leading to the airport.
This piece of road has long been a problem for commuters. It possibly should have been addressed sooner. Nevertheless, the current development project is welcome. Many people say to me that they cannot plan their morning schedule when travelling interstate and I must say that on the rare occasions that I travel these days I have no idea how much time to allocate to going to that airport because it is quite unpredictable now compared with the way it was. I do not oppose the development of the airport. However, I am conscious of the fact that the airport’s policies have the potential to have a considerable impact on Canberra’s community.
A lot of what Dr Foskey said was couched in terms of greenhouse emissions. I was expecting the predominance of her remarks to relate to loss of amenity in neighbourhoods. She did mention that, but I share a bit of Mrs Dunne’s scepticism about the link between greenhouse emissions and air travel, with the underlying sense that one thinks that Dr Foskey seems to be wanting to see less and less air travel. I