Page 3952 - Week 10 - Thursday, 28 August 2008

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MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (4.53): I would like to thank Mrs Dunne for raising the matter of public importance on the delivery of ACT government services in the community. Before I go to some of the important services that I would like to talk about, I do want to come back to one of Mrs Dunne’s comments about the Belconnen theatre. I have been reminded by Ms Porter—and I have been there recently as well—that she talked about the comfort of the seats. I should remind members those seats have only just been replaced 12 months ago. I am not sure when Mrs Dunne was last there, but when I performed there last the seats were very comfortable. So it is clear she does not attend the Belconnen Arts Centre very much.

Mr Smyth: Do you know where it is?

MR GENTLEMAN: Mr Smyth asks whether I know where it is. I do know where it is, Mr Smyth. I performed there for the Mental Health Foundation on several nights. We were almost sold out every night.

This MPI does give me an opportunity to inform members of many of the services that government has delivered and will continue to deliver. Yesterday I had the opportunity to advise members of several of the ACT sustainability initiatives and today, with this matter of public importance, I have the chance to speak about some more.

Ensuring our sustainable future now is imperative for future Canberrans. This government has been responding to the changes in our climate through a number of policy and investment initiatives. Our decisions to protect our long-term water security have been guided through think water, act water, the ACT’s water management strategy. We have announced a series of water security measures, including enlarging the Cotter Dam from four to 78 gigalitres and increasing the volume of water transferred from the Murrumbidgee River to the Googong Dam.

Last year we launched Weathering the Change, the ACT government’s climate change strategy and action plan, which details 43 actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the first of three plans. I cannot resist the opportunity to again inform Mrs Dunne and the rest of the Assembly how well the ACT government has proceeded on these actions.

Action 3: we have established an energy efficiency fund for ACT government agencies.

Mrs Dunne: It is only $1 million!

MR GENTLEMAN: I know Mrs Dunne is not very interested in this but there are people in the gallery that are very interested in how we are addressing climate change. The fund commenced in November 2007. The first round of applications closed mid-February 2008, and successful applicants were the CIT and the Canberra Stadium.

Action 5: legislation was passed to vary the Utilities Act. The green power opt-out scheme will commence on 1 January next year. Action 8 of the plan commenced audits of Housing ACT properties, and work will begin later this year on retrofitting.

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