Page 2399 - Week 06 - Thursday, 10 May 2012

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Climate Change, Environment and Water—Standing Committee

Report 6

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Leader, ACT Greens) (4.07): I present the following report:

Climate Change, Environment and Water—Standing Committee—Report 6—Inquiry into the ecological carrying capacity of the ACT and region, dated 8 May 2012, including dissenting comments (Mr Seselja), together with a copy of the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings.

I move:

That the report be noted.

I would like to start by thanking my fellow committee members. We had Mr Zed Seselja and also Mr John Hargreaves in the early days and Ms Mary Porter in the latter part of the inquiry. This has been an inquiry that has gone on for some considerable time for a range of reasons. It has been quite a complicated inquiry. It had an extensive terms of reference. During that time we also had quite a turnover in the secretariat as well which meant, of course, that there were some delays at certain points. But I have to say that the secretariat did a great job in supporting this inquiry.

I want to mention those people who have been involved. Ms Margie Morrison, Mrs Nicola Kossek, Dr Sandra Lilburn, Ms Veronica Strkalj, Dr Chris Beer, Ms Sam Salvaneschi, Mr Paul Oliver and, of course, Ms Lydia Chung. I would like to thank Lydia because I know she did some great work in formatting this large report, particularly in the last few days. Also we did rely on the resources of the library. I would like to acknowledge the library staff and, of course, the Legislative Assembly librarian who led that team, Ms Siew Chin Scholar, for their assistance.

As I said, it has been an extensive inquiry. We had a very large terms of reference and we did have quite a few people who contributed to the inquiry. We had several public hearings where people came in to give evidence and we had 36 written submissions. We also had a number of exhibits that were presented to the inquiry. I would like to thank each and every one of those submitters and those people who participated in the public hearings.

We have come up with this report that contains 23 recommendations. They are wide-ranging recommendations that really reflect the terms of reference. It really is about understanding the significance of our ecological footprint and, I guess, the impact that has on our environment and how we can look at ways to reduce that ecological footprint. Not only was this report about the ACT; it was about the surrounding region as well. I would like to acknowledge the surrounding town councils who participated as well.

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