Page 3252 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 17 September 2013

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So climate change has a direct, real and immediate impact on the safety, security and viability of our city. Therefore, as a government, we must ensure that we take responsible and reasonable steps to reduce our own city’s greenhouse gas emissions as part of a national and global effort to reduce and ameliorate the worst impacts of a changing climate.

Let us understand what it means. It means that the number of severe heat days in the ACT over the next 30 to 50 years will double. We all understand what these days mean. They mean heightened fire risk, severe or catastrophic fire risk. And if you are talking about the number of days like that doubling, you are talking about the prospect of severe bushfires doubling in that same period.

If you are talking prolonged drought effects, you are talking about the potential for further vulnerability to Canberra’s water supply, regardless of the significant capability that has now been put in place through the government’s water security projects. So those are the real and immediate impacts.

We know, for example, that severe heat means increased mortality rates for the elderly, the infirm and the very young. That is the consequence of a severe heat effect. And for all of those reasons, climate change has a real and direct impact on our community. (Time expired.)

Federal government—election

MS PORTER: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, what is the ACT government response to the election of a coalition federal government?

MS GALLAGHER: Last Monday I wrote to the new Prime Minister elect, Tony Abbott, congratulating him and the coalition on their election win. The ACT government has worked with federal governments of both political persuasions in the past, and I have worked with Mr Abbott when he was health minister in the Howard government. We look forward to continuing to work with the federal government over the next three years.

Whilst, from my point of view, we are disappointed with the lack of women in cabinet, and indeed with some of the portfolios as they have been announced, we will work in good faith with the commonwealth government in the range of areas which matter to the local Canberra community, including in the areas of the territories portfolio and, of course, in areas of national importance like health and education.

It was good to see that Labor performed very strongly in the ACT. Congratulations to Andrew Leigh and Gai Brodtmann on their re-election to the House of Reps and of course to Kate Lundy on her re-election to the Senate. It appears to be a bit early to congratulate Zed Seselja, as he continues to fight for the second Senate seat in the seat of Canberra.

One of the main issues the government remains concerned about—indeed, it is probably an issue that should concern the Assembly—is the promised cuts and

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