Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 18 June 2009) . . Page.. 2581 ..
seeks to take full advantage of the raw materials that we have at our disposal. Most particularly, of course, they are the people that work here—our people, our strongest resource. Our research facilities are the best in Australia and in much of the world. Indeed, we have an education sector and a small business sector that are very good at making links with others to produce new products and services.
It is a vision that seeks to position Canberra as the solar capital of Australia and that also seeks to allow us to take full advantage of emerging opportunities and sustainable industry sectors—opportunities that are emerging very much as a result of decisions which this government has taken in relation to a commitment to fund a solar power station and in relation to the world-leading solar tariff scheme.
Unlike so many other parts of Australia and, indeed, many parts of the world, we are not historically beholden to the fossil fuel industry in the context of there being no mines here, no heavy industry, no industry that fits within that category of heavy emitters. Our raw materials are very much a very highly educated workforce and community, and that gives us an edge that we can exploit.
As I have been saying in recent days in this place, it is very important that we make policy according to evidence, that we do not act instinctively just to be seen to be doing something that allows us to feel good, that allows us to parade our green credentials. It is not, I think, all that productive to jump on the bandwagon of a new idea that comes along just to buy credibility in relation to this issue that really is the most significant issue facing the world; namely, the dangers that climate change presents.
We do want and need innovation but we want and need genuine innovation, innovation that is sustainable. We do want and need green industries that are suited to this economy so that we can leverage the natural advantage that we have.
It is in that sense that the government is pursuing a study to shape a green economy strategy or policy for the ACT. We have taken what I think is a very major but crucial step in the development of a robust and achievable strategy that will position us to maximise the opportunities that are presented by the need for us to respond to climate change.
It is in that sense that I am delighted today to have announced that we have secured the services of a very significant and senior team from the University of Canberra headed up by Dr John Howard, the Director of Innovation Engagement at the University of Canberra. He will lead the development of a green economic policy strategy or framework for the ACT.
Dr Howard will be joined on the team by Professor Carole Kayrooz, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Education at the university and Professor Shane West, Chair of Building and Management at the university. Other university staff who will be involved in the project are Dr Margi Bohm, the course convenor in environmental science, Associate Professor Barbara Pamphilon, Director of the Australian Institute for Sustainable Communities and Mr Andrew MacKenzie, lecturer in landscape architecture and planning.