Page 2685 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 29 June 2010
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (11.39): I acknowledge that the Treasurer has just tabled the government’s response. Rather than go through it now, the Canberra Liberals will be addressing the issues that are raised here in the substantive debate.
MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Are you moving that the debate be adjourned?
MR SMYTH: Just for the sake of brevity.
MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella) (11.40): I too, if necessary and if stoked by those opposite, will engage in a debate at the detail stage. If they want a quiet evening, I advise them not to stoke this debate because this little black duck will respond. I wanted to draw people’s attention to a couple of things, and I welcome the response from the government to our report.
But also I appreciate the fact that the ACIL Tasman report, a significant document attached to the report, was not referred to by those opposite in their dissenting report. I do not know whether they actually read it beyond the couple of phrases which were very salient, one of which was that the assumptions that had been applied were reasonable.
The most common word after “and” and “the” and “but” was the word “reasonable” throughout the ACIL Tasman report. In fact, it also supported the probability that the territory’s AAA credit rating would continue. That in itself is significant and should have rated a mention, but it did not. I think what it actually told me was that with the best of intentions and with the utmost of respect we have no accountants and no economists in this Assembly. Accordingly, if you like, estimates committees are made up of people who do not have training in this sort of area. A lot of us have many years of experience but not training per se. Having the benefit of an ACIL Tasman consultancy I believe brought an enormous amount of benefit, and I thank the Assembly, in fact, for the opportunity to receive that benefit.
One of the recommendations I can recall talking about in the committee was that of a methane harvesting plant at Belconnen. I am pleased to see that one, in fact, has been in place for 10 years. I just wish some of our Ginninderra members had pointed that out. But I also note that the methane harvesting plant only generates one megawatt of power. The reason advanced in this report is that the waste is drying out in the current drought and the waste is ageing.
One of the solutions in that, of course, is to recycle the water which is generated by the extraction of the methane and the burning of the methane, and thus the turning of the turbines in the power system. Of course, to turn those turbines you need steam and to have steam you need water. There is excess water and it is usually, in the case of Mugga Lane, pumped out into a holding pond and then pumped straight back up on top of the hill.
In fact, if that sort of system were applied to Belconnen, it would not dry out in the drought and the ageing waste would actually be regenerated. The other thing I would like to mention was a little bit of disappointment, I suppose, I had. I had hoped to