Page 3948 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 15 Sept 2009

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The other area of the report that has gained headlines without necessarily a lot of informed discussion was the expansion of the Cotter Dam. The report, based on a worst-case scenario, estimates that 18,000 tonnes of carbon would be released through the expansion of the Cotter Dam. Actew has used the same FullCAM methodology as the authors of the report. However, the company assumed that mature trees would remain as carbon stock, releasing only 1,190 tonnes of carbon as a result of the project. By “mature trees”, I am referring to mature trees which will be submerged in the inundation following the completion of the new Cotter Dam.

The difference in these figures highlights the challenges presented by this new and evolving field of carbon accounting. Actew has committed to completely offset all the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the construction operations of the new Cotter Dam. This is a first for the ACT and will provide more information to help inform further policy development in this area of climate change.

In conclusion, the government is proud to have demonstrated that it is prepared to fund significant research projects and release them in full to the community. The government, like many other governments around the world, is looking for answers on the issue of climate change. It is only through research and audits that we will know where we are at. Now is the time to take stock and then set forward upon a path to reduce our carbon emissions, using informed policies and bringing the community with us. I would like to thank members for their contribution to the debate today, and I commend this report to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Sitting suspended from 12.18 to 2 pm.

Ministerial arrangements

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage): My colleague the Attorney-General apologises for his absence from question time today. I stand ready to provide assistance in relation to any matters that may have been raised with the Attorney-General in his absence, and I will seek to do my best. Mr Corbell apologises that private issues have kept him from question time today.

Questions without notice

MR SPEAKER: Members, it is the first application of our new standing orders today, so bear with us all as we navigate our way through the new system. I call the Leader of the Opposition.

Cotter Dam—cost

MR SESELJA: Thank you, Mr Speaker. With your indulgence, I apologise for the shadow attorney-general, who would like to be here but who has a medical procedure.

My question is to the Treasurer, and it relates to the reported presentation made to cabinet by the Chairman and Managing Director of Actew Corporation to advise

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