Page 955 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 29 March 2011

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Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Regulation 2000—

Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Booster Seats Approval 2011—Disallowable Instrument DI2011-31 (LR, 3 March 2011).

Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Child Restraints Approval 2011—Disallowable Instrument DI2011-30 (LR, 3 March 2011).

Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Child Safety Harnesses Approval 2011—Disallowable Instrument DI2011-32 (LR, 3 March 2011).

Work Safety Act—

Work Safety (ACT Code of Practice for Formwork) Code of Practice 2011—Disallowable Instrument DI2011-29 (LR, 4 March 2011).

Work Safety Amendment Regulation 2011 (No 1)—Subordinate Law SL2011-8 (LR, 7 March 2011).

Energy—peak oil

Discussion of matter of public importance

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mrs Dunne): Mr Speaker has received letters from Ms Bresnan, Mr Coe, Mr Doszpot, Mr Hanson, Ms Hunter, Ms Le Couteur, Mr Seselja and Mr Smyth proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, Mr Speaker has determined that the matter proposed by Ms Le Couteur be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The importance of preparing the ACT for peak oil.

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (3.02): Thank you, Madam Assistant Speaker, for the opportunity to speak today on this matter of public importance. I am referring to the phenomenon of peak oil and whether the ACT government is ready and willing to respond to it. Globally, peak oil refers to the point where the global production of oil peaks and then slides into irreversible decline. This does not mean that the oil tap will suddenly be turned off, but it does mean that oil production decreases and it is likely that global demand for oil can no longer be met.

The impacts of global peak oil will be felt around the globe. We have built our prosperity on the back of cheap oil and Canberra is by no means immune. In fact, Canberra is very vulnerable and our city faces severe risks in the future.

I would like to start by asking everyone to imagine a scenario. In this scenario, which I fear may not be too far into the future, the price of buying a litre of petrol in Canberra is $4. Drivers, of course, will know that this is around two and a half times more expensive than petrol is today. This, I am afraid, is only a modest prediction of where petrol prices could go in the next few years under peak oil scenarios.

If petrol cost $4 a litre, it would obviously be very costly to fill the petrol tank of a car. How many Canberrans would be able to continue to commute to work by car if that is the case? For many families higher petrol prices could mean the difference between filling the car or paying the rent. What about those Canberrans who live further away from services and rely almost entirely on their car? With limited petrol, how do they

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