Page 1607 - Week 04 - Thursday, 29 March 2012

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produces hot water as well. I think that is the real ingenuity in the project. I saw a photo of the next stage of the prototype and it is half the size of the first one. So real progress is being made. The Nexus recycler can reduce domestic water usage by 45 per cent, slashing sewage flows by 70 per cent, and produce hot water for 75 per cent less energy than conventional technologies.

Technological innovation is an important part of addressing the world’s water scarcity and energy problems, along with smart consumption and conservation measures. I am very proud of the fact that a local Canberra business is at the forefront of this innovation on an international scale. I would like to congratulate Craig and his team on their success at the Imagine H2O awards and all their hard work in getting their technology through the development stage.

We commend the government for their support in helping businesses like Nexus eWater. We would like to encourage more well-targeted support for innovative and sustainable emerging enterprises in future so that we can aid in the diversification of the local economy and play a role in aiding the transition to a clean economy. These are the sorts of companies that we really want to see in Canberra in future. These are all locals. They have stayed in town to develop this technology. They are committed to having Canberra as their base. I think that is very exciting for this city. As they are employing more people, it obviously adds to the economic opportunities for this city. It is providing good and interesting jobs to keep the best and the brightest in Canberra. Overall, it is a good news story for this city.

I would also, just briefly, like to acknowledge that this Saturday night Earth Hour is on. It has been around since 2007 and I think members are well aware of it. It is another great Australian initiative. Whereas originally it only occurred in this country, we now see that in 2010 there were 128 countries that participated. Around 1,000 of the world’s national and man-made wonders such as the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, Egypt’s pyramids and Niagara Falls all turned off their lights to participate in Earth Hour. There were 135 countries in 2011.

I think there is some discussion about whether Earth Hour is appropriate and whether it is too symbolic. Clearly, it is a symbolic activity. It does not try to be an energy or carbon reduction exercise. It is actually about talking to people and creating an awareness of practices and of understanding how energy works—how they impact on the way humans are changing the environment. I think the initiatives to talk about going “beyond the hour” to encourage people to reduce their footprint on an ongoing basis are very much the future direction of that. I think I will be fine on Saturday night. I plan to be in a tent in the Snowy Mountains, so I reckon I will be okay participating. I encourage Canberrans to be involved and to make this as big a success as they can.

Mr Jeremy Hanson—media release

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Minister for Health and Minister for Territory and Municipal Services) (5.37): I rise tonight to talk briefly about and respond to a media release that was put out earlier today by Jeremy Hanson, the shadow minister for health, titled “ACT loses 249 medical practitioners”. I think what we see in this media release is yet another reckless and irresponsible example of the

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