Page 3781 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 27 August 2008

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The great shame for the environment is that for the last seven years this government has been asleep. Perhaps Mr Gentleman did not know that there are some Territory and Municipal Services guidelines. If you get on the web, Mr Gentleman, you will see that they are called Your guide to engaging with the community: ACT government community engagement manual. Then there is the Territory and Municipal Services community engagement policy. Mr Gentleman, I know that you were embarrassed last week when you missed the fact that your ads were on the TV and you took the point of order. I just need to tell you this: the ads are back on, Mick. If the party has not told you, they are running the same ad from about a month ago. You need to listen to the radio, mate. If they have not told you because they have not consulted with you, come to us and we will keep you informed on what is going on.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Relevance, Mr Smyth; relevance.

MR SMYTH: The important thing here is that you can only do this as a complete community. I can rattle off a list of things that we did in government. We were the first jurisdiction in this country to put together a greenhouse gas strategy. We put out a draft; we went out and consulted; then we came back with a greenhouse strategy that set real targets. The Chief Minister has said, “Oh, you know, you can’t achieve them; they weren’t real; they were going to cost too much money.” He quoted the figure of $114 million. But six years later, when he announced his own greenhouse gas strategy, what was the cost? It was $100 million. We wasted all those years.

We wasted six years before the minister for the environment woke up to the fact that he was the minister for the environment. Setting up the Office of Sustainability—job done—did not work. People are not fooled by it. The reductions we proposed saw gigagrams of 4,057 reduced to 3,120. What did the Stanhope government propose? We saw 4,450 reduced to 4,400—50. It was 937 gigagrams under the Liberal Party, 50 under the Stanhope government. Approximate cost per tonne of reduction—under the Liberals, $121,000; under the Stanhope government, $2 million. They were not listening to the community; they were not consulting; they were not working with their community. They were telling the community what they did.

Previously in this place, when we were a minority government, there were motions that came up on things like the firewood strategy. I personally went and spoke to many of the firewood sellers to find out how we could work with them. We had roundtables where we invited people like the cons council, the business community, the community at large and health professionals to work out what the problems were and how we could educate people so that we could do this together. That was very successful.

Adaptable and accessible APUs: we heard what the community were saying. We heard them say they wanted to be able to age in place but they needed houses that they could adapt. We came to that.

The restocking fish program: I can remember personally going out and talking to everybody from the water police officer out at Lake Ginninderra to the fishing groups to find out what they wanted and going to the experts to find out how it would work.

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