Page 1441 - Week 04 - Thursday, 26 March 2009

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Given the challenge of climate change that faces us, the impacts of which have been so perfectly demonstrated in this discussion today about our water security, the ACT government should absolutely rule out supporting any new gas-fired power station and commit to diverting any funds that might be used for such a project towards renewable energy projects, because that is the sort of power the ACT needs in the future.

In conclusion, I would like to say that the water challenges for the ACT will remain for the foreseeable future. That is what the scientists tell us and that is what we need to be planning for. The scenarios outlined by the CSIRO are sobering. The ACT government and the community must continue to be vigilant and committed to water efficiency measures and not get caught by the shimmer that comes off large-scale projects with big dollar figures on them.

The Greens will continue to ensure that government programs are innovative and effective and are given the priority they deserve in prioritising water efficiency. We will also continue to scrutinise these projects. I was concerned to note today that in his statement the minister talked about the cost to the community, that the projects may face further cost pressure and that these costs may be passed on through the ICRC to future ratepayers in the ACT. I am concerned that that is a blank cheque for big infrastructure projects when in fact we need to be focusing on spending our money on water efficiency and not needing so much water in the future. This will undoubtedly be a continuing debate in the future. I thank the minister for his statement today to the Assembly and I look forward to continuing this discussion.

Debate (on motion by Mr Doszpot) adjourned to the next sitting.

Sporting facilities in the ACT

Discussion of matter of public importance

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Burch): Mr Speaker has received letters from Ms Bresnan, Ms Burch, Mr Coe, Mr Doszpot, Mrs Dunne, Mr Hanson, Ms Hunter, Ms Le Couteur, Ms Porter, Mr Seselja and Mr Smyth proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, Mr Speaker has determined that the matter proposed by Mr Doszpot be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

Sporting facilities in the ACT.

MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (3.41): Madam Assistant Speaker, this is a very timely matter of public importance that I raise today. It is timely, of course, in light of the imminent closure of one of the ACT’s most valuable sporting facilities as a result of this government’s lack of interest and complete impotence. I am, of course, referring to the Deakin pool, formerly known as the Oasis leisure centre. I will not limit my focus today to the Deakin pool, but, in light of the urgency of the current events, I feel this facility must take priority. My colleagues will expand on our concerns with the general state of the sporting facilities in the ACT and their importance to the wellbeing of our community.

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