Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 15 October 2009) . . Page.. 4613 ..
Leaving that aside, one of the things we really need to think about is that we need to start changing immediately our long-lived infrastructure. The government and the ACT community as a whole are currently creating things which we expect to be here for 50, 100 or 200 more years, and we need to start now to make sure they are suitable for the future that the minister has been talking about.
Given the state of the ACT, I want to talk about two things in particular here. With respect to transport, we are currently building our transport infrastructure in the way that we have been building it very much in the past, which is very much a car-centred infrastructure. If we are seriously going to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, I think that it is not going to be a car-centred future. We are going to need to use a lot more public transport and we are going to need to use a lot more human-centred transport. In both of these areas, I think that we need to do more work.
The ACT government last year, at about this time—it was during the caretaker period—put in an excellent submission to Infrastructure Australia on the subject of light rail which I have had the pleasure of reading. Like the minister’s statement today, it is a very inspirational statement. But it does not seem to have gone anywhere. In later statements that the government have made, they are going ahead with Majura Parkway and are asking for money from Infrastructure Australia for the Majura Parkway rather than light rail. We need to look at our transport infrastructure in the light of the sorts of things the minister has been talking about—in the light of seriously reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
In another instance, the government has allocated $4 million, I understand, to do something in Bunda Street. I am sure that all members here will be aware—and particularly the minister, as he, along with myself, Mr Rattenbury and Mr Coe, was part of the ride with Pedal Power around the city loop yesterday—there is a debate going on about how we are going to upgrade Bunda Street. Are we going to make it really pedestrian and cyclist friendly? I have been asking questions on notice and have debated this with the minister with responsibility for TAMS for some months and, as yet, the indication appears to be that the $4 million is going to be used basically on a cosmetic refit of Bunda Street rather than a refit which would make it easy for pedestrians and cyclists and encourage Canberra to make the positive changes that the minister is talking about that will lead to a low carbon and sustainable future.
The other big thing that the ACT government and the ACT community need to look at is buildings. We all know that buildings are responsible for 73 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in the ACT, but we are still building buildings which are not significantly better than they have been in the past. My colleague Mr Rattenbury talked about Molonglo. One of the issues with Molonglo is that the buildings there, as he said, are not going to be required to be solar orientated and the buildings there will not have by-right solar access. So if you put a hot-water service or a solar electric system on your roof, your next-door neighbour can go and shade it. That is not going to encourage the things that the minister was talking about in terms of generating renewable energy.
Solar orientation is particularly important because if we go to retrofit buildings we can put in insulation but we cannot actually pick them up, move them around on the block