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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 21 October 2010) . . Page.. 4876 ..

across the aisle do not get too excited. But it is important to recognise that there are more people in this city aged under 40 than I think we give credit for in our consultation mechanisms and certainly in the types of debates that we have in this place. Those opposite choose to ignore their views to their detriment.

Environment—greenhouse gas

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Climate Change. Minister, what greenhouse gas emissions offsets has the government purchased to offset its emissions? Where are these offsets and what are the costs?

MR CORBELL: To the best of my knowledge, the government does not currently purchase offsets to offset its emissions. Instead, the government works to reduce its carbon footprint by the purchase of renewable energy. The government currently purchases 32.5 per cent of its total energy needs with green power product. That is the single largest purchase of any state or territory in the country when it comes to the purchase of renewable energy for its own operations.

A number of government agencies and government-related entities have used offsets to manage the impact of particular projects. The most obvious of these is the development of the new Cotter Dam—the extended Cotter Dam project. The carbon impact of that project is being entirely offset with the use of offsets purchased through accredited schemes.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Hanson?

MR HANSON: A supplementary, Mr Speaker. Minister, why has the government not purchased any carbon offsets given its stated policy objective of becoming carbon neutral?

MR CORBELL: The government will consider the use of offsets into the future as it works towards its carbon neutrality objective. But, as I indicated in my previous answer, the government is already purchasing over 30 per cent of all of its energy needs from renewable sources, and we are a leader in the country in doing so.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Seselja?

MR SESELJA: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, what were the carbon offsets purchased for Cotter Dam and how much did they cost?

MR CORBELL: The offsets were the purchase of tree planting activities under the relevant accredited schemes. I can provide the details of that and the cost to the member, but I will need to take the question on notice.

Mental health—homeless people

MS BRESNAN: My question is to the Minister for Health and relates to people who are homeless and suffering a severe episode of mental illness. Minister, you recently announced that two more step-up, step-down mental health services are to be made available, one of which will be a facility and the other being an in-home service.

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