Page 5108 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 17 November 2009

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In considering the shape of the legislation, the government will look at the South Australian and Tasmanian models and the government will also give consideration to overseas legislative models. For example, consideration will be given to the UK climate change act introduced last year.

I intend to ensure that legislation to give effect to greenhouse gas reduction targets is introduced into this Assembly in the first half of next year. The next step in order to progress delivery of our commitment to reduce our emissions is the next action plan under the weathering the change climate change policy, action plan 2.

My department has commissioned expert consultants to assist in assessing options and developing a pathway towards carbon neutrality for the territory. The work will be completed by the end of the year and is critical to working out the most cost-efficient ways of meeting our goal of a carbon-neutral Canberra by 2060.

Key initiatives being considered in the development of action plan 2 include: mandatory targets for energy utilities to achieve set reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency; measures to accelerate the uptake of GreenPower; development of a greenhouse gas offsets policy, in particular to offset emissions from the gas and transport sectors in a way that optimises benefits for the territory; the development of an ACT green lease policy to drive significant improvements in the energy efficiency of offices rented or owned by the ACT government; a review of planning and building regulations to identify opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions; the investigation of opportunities for the increasing use of co-generation, tri-generation and other low emissions distributed energy technologies in the territory; and the development of a framework to achieve carbon neutrality in ACT government operations. Possible elements being included here include climate change risk assessments, annual government agency carbon budgets implemented through performance commitments in chief executive contracts, and enhanced reporting in ACT budget documents.

In short, action plan 2 will set out the pathway of how we will achieve our greenhouse gas reduction targets and the speed with which we can do so. I am also pleased to advise members that I will be releasing a copy of a draft energy policy before the completion of this year.

In tabling the government response to the interim report of the inquiry into ACT greenhouse gas reduction targets, I would like to acknowledge the important role this inquiry has played in helping to build a political consensus to finding local and sustainable solutions to climate change. The challenge is now before all members of the Assembly to embrace this consensus position and to move forward with measures to actually reduce emissions.

I would like to thank the committee for delivering a considered and comprehensive report and I look forward to receiving and reading the final report when it is presented in March next year. I commend the response to the Assembly.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (3.25): When the committee reported earlier this year, I think they set out a number of recommendations which were designed to

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