Page 3792 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 27 August 2008

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perhaps the analysis had been flawed. Where are these sustainable environmental credentials?

Today, we have heard that Mick is committed to saving subalpine species and the pink-tailed worm lizard, but not the residents of Macarthur, Fadden, Gowrie, Gilmore, Wanniassa, Chisholm, Isaacs, Farrer and Pearce. Mr Speaker, to paraphrase Richard Attenborough, as he lurks through the rolling hill country of north Tuggeranong, if you can imagine him there: “Ah, there we see Mick’s pink-tailed worm lizard. Oh, look over there, the little furry Macarthurite. Oh, but alas, soon to be extinct, gobbled up by the non-sustainable massive Labor gaso-ranosaurus.” This is “working together to maintain a sustainable environment”. What a load of bunkum!

How committed are the government to a sustainable environment when they refuse to commit, despite repeated demands from the opposition and the community, to doing a fully independent EIS on the data centre, the scaled-down project, still in the Macarthur Valley? Why don’t they just move the thing? The opposition is committed to seeing through the EIS process on the scaled-down project. But why didn’t this government save trouble for the proponent and trouble for the community, make a sound decision in the first place and move the data centre to a better site?

What about this power station concept, in any case? It is amusing to me, and I am sure to the people of Canberra, to have here today a Stanhope Labor government that is so willing to look at its record with regard to a sustainable environment and see where it has made significant policy positions which completely undermine, and in some cases negate, any such environmental consideration.

The power station issue is but one example, and a prime one. Despite the significant benefits attached to the proposal—although it is still unclear exactly who will enjoy most of those benefits—and the purported employment benefits to the ACT community of having such a facility here in the territory, there is little in this project that offers real vision in terms of increasing our capacity to reduce our reliance on non-renewable energy sources.

The government have been spruiking the line that it will be the cleanest and greenest such power station in the world. Frankly, that means nothing at all because their poor attempt to qualify this project as being green, and thus sustainable, is completely and utterly false. The power station will still emit carbon dioxide, among a number of other toxic chemicals. It will absolutely increase the aggregate greenhouse gas emissions for the ACT. Can Mr Gentleman, Mr Hargreaves or the Chief Minister explain to me and the people of Brindabella exactly how this development is sustainable? Did the government not consider what impact a future carbon trading scheme might have? Obviously not, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: The time for this discussion has expired. (Quorum formed.)

Protection of Public Participation Bill 2008

Detail stage

Clauses 1 to 10.

Debate resumed.

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