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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 26 October 2010) . . Page.. 5012 ..

but at the same time we do not want to encourage companies or organisations to use sector agreements simply as a form of greenwash or perhaps to become complacent in their delivery and that there is a level of scrutiny of those commitments.

We believe it is appropriate that the government at least try and build in some accountability and that there be an opportunity for the effectiveness of those agreements to be examined. I think this will be important in terms of also learning, perhaps from earlier agreements, about things that have worked or perhaps in some unfortunate cases not worked so well, despite the best intentions.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (12.16): The government supports this amendment. I welcome the consideration that Mr Rattenbury has given to the feedback that I and my department gave him in relation to his earlier version of this amendment, which was a very onerous provision and one that I think could have acted as a disincentive certainly for private sector organisations and sectors to sign up to a sector agreement. So I am pleased that those issues have been taken on board and I thank him for that.

There is still one issue of concern and reservation for the government in this amendment—that is, the requirement for the entity to review and report on the operation of the agreement. We want the private sector to engage in the emissions reduction task and we want them to be willing to sign up to sector agreements, but we do not want an onerous level of bureaucracy to be associated with that effort.

The provision for the entity to review and report on the operation of the agreement is, to my mind, a provision that could act as a disincentive to sign up to a sector agreement and could act contrary to the intention of the provision, which is to encourage cooperation from different entities and different sectors.

I simply put that on the record. The government is not going to oppose this provision but I do have some reservations about the potential impact of that clause. If that clause does result in sectors or entities not being willing to enter into sector agreements then I do reserve the right to come back to the Assembly and seek an amendment because I do not want a provision that acts as a disincentive to industry signing up to sector agreements. If this proves to be such an obstacle, I would want to try and address that issue. But we will see how it goes. I hope I am proven wrong but I simply place that reservation on the record.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (12.19): The Liberal Party will not be supporting this amendment. I am not really clear on what the government’s position is on this. They appear to be taking a sort of wishy-washy approach whereby they are putting their concerns on the record but they are voting for the amendment. The minister clearly has not thought this through because he does not seem sure about what he actually wants.

I think the point that the minister made is correct: it will act as a disincentive. The last thing we want in terms of voluntary agreements is to put in place a situation where entities are discouraged from actually doing it. I think there is a very strong likelihood

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