Page 39 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 15 February 2011

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Questions without notice

Energy—peak oil

MS LE COUTEUR: My question is to the Chief Minister and it concerns peak oil. Chief Minister, a recent series of papers by the Royal Australian Planning Institute described the serious threats posed to Australian cities by peak oil. The response to peak oil must cover a range of portfolio areas, including planning, transport and urban infrastructure. Why doesn’t the ACT government have a peak oil strategy to respond to the challenges that our city will face from peak oil?

MR STANHOPE: I will take the question on notice.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Le Couteur, a supplementary question?

MS LE COUTEUR: Chief Minister, can you explain why the term “peak oil” is not even mentioned on a single occasion in any of the government’s major planning, transport, infrastructure or climate change plans?

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker—

Mr Coe interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Mr Coe, your interjections are unnecessary and unhelpful.

MR STANHOPE: I acknowledge Ms Le Couteur’s interest in this issue of peak oil. It is an important issue and, to ensure that there is a full response, I will take the question on notice.

MR HARGREAVES: A supplementary, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Thanks very much, Mr Speaker. To the Chief Minister, is it not true that the government is aware of the need, in effect, to get away from oil-based fuels and, in fact, to increase the number of non-oil-based vehicles in the bus fleet over time and is it not true that it was part of this motivation which encouraged you to seek the ACT public service and, indeed, the Assembly to get away from gas-guzzling machinery into something a bit more appropriate in this day and age?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Mr Hargreaves for the question. Indeed, this government has a very proud record in relation to issues around alternative-fuelled vehicles and issues which we pursue—for instance, mandating four-cylinder cars. It is a proud record and these are issues that we are particularly concerned about.

Ms Le Couteur, however, does raise a similarly important issue in relation to peak oil. I have corresponded with Ms Le Couteur, I believe, in the last couple of weeks. I cannot remember or recall the exact detail of my response to Ms Le Couteur. Ms Le Couteur has answers from me on the questions she asked today and I propose to actually go back to my office, get those responses and resubmit them to Ms Le Couteur.

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