Page 4889 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 25 October 2011

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ACT Climate Change Council

MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development. Would the minister please tell the Assembly what the ACT community can expect from the work of the ACT Climate Change Council?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Hargreaves for the question. I am very pleased to advise members that the government has appointed six people to the new positions on the newly established ACT Climate Change Council. I recently announced the appointment of Ms Maria Efkarpidis, Dr Frank Jotzo, Ms Lynne Harwood, Mr David Papps and Professor Will Steffen as members of the Climate Change Council, and the appointment of Professor Barbara Norman from the University of Canberra as the chair of the council.

I am particularly pleased that Professor Norman has agreed to accept the appointment. As many would know, Professor Norman is currently the foundation chair in urban and regional planning at the University of Canberra. She has advised governments across Australia in relation to a range of matters on urban and regional planning issues. She currently is deputy chair of Regional Development Australia (ACT) and a co-director of the newly established Canberra and urban regional futures program, which is a collaborative program between the University of Canberra and the Australian National University looking at how both the city and its surrounding region can become a more sustainable place into the future.

These are important appointments for the ACT. These are appointments that are designed to give advice and suggestions not only to the government but also advocacy and information to the broader community about the challenges our city faces when it comes to creating a more sustainable environment, a city that reduces its greenhouse gas emissions, a city that achieves its greenhouse gas reduction targets.

The council will provide advice directly to me on strategies and issues that the government should consider in tackling our greenhouse gas reduction targets and ensuring that the city is able to adapt to the challenges of climate change. I would expect given the council’s broad experience that their advice would not just be on the environmental and economic aspects of these issues but also on the social aspects of these issues and how we can ensure that those who are on low incomes, those who are potentially most disadvantaged from that transition to a low carbon economy, are able to be appropriately protected, assisted and supported through that process.

I think the members we have appointed to the council demonstrate a broad range of experience founded here in the ACT. Whether it is academia, whether it is the business community, whether it is the community sector, whether it is the public service, we have a strong, competent and I believe highly respected group of individuals who together will provide very important advice to the government and very important advocacy to the broader community as we work together in ensuring that we help make our city more sustainable and a city which ultimately achieves its objectives of being a carbon neutral city and a city that is at the forefront of creating new economic opportunity, new social opportunity, as we make the transition to a low carbon future.

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