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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 15 February 2018) . . Page.. 246 ..

There is indeed much to do, but it is important work to make our city more just, more accessible, more inclusive and more vibrant. I present the following paper:

Statement of priorities—Ministerial statement, 15 February 2018.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Portfolio priorities 2018

Ministerial statement

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety, Minister for Corrections and Minister for Mental Health) (11.10): I would like to share with members the priorities across my ministerial portfolios for this year.

In the area of climate change and sustainability, we know that climate change is a major challenge for the territory, for Australia and indeed for the planet. As minister for climate change, I am committed to helping the ACT meet these challenges and making sure that we not only do our share but are a leader in responding to climate change. This involves making efforts to mitigate climate change; that is, reducing our emissions to ensure climate change impacts are less severe. It also means adapting to climate change; that is, preparing the city to be resilient to the climate change impacts that we know are already built into the system, to ensure that we remain a healthy and livable place.

One of my top priorities is to develop an action plan covering the next six years, to help the ACT make progress towards net zero emissions. This means that as a city we actually produce no greenhouse gas emissions or that the small amount that we do produce is offset by things such as forests acting as carbon sinks. Net zero emissions means changes to the way the territory currently works, in fundamental areas such as transport and energy. But they are changes that we can achieve, and they also provide great opportunities to improve quality of life and provide improved social and economic outcomes.

A second priority in the climate change space is to negotiate with the federal government and my state and territory counterparts to ensure a good outcome regarding the national energy policy. The draft proposal from the federal government will have a significant impact on the way Australia responds to climate change. The proposed impacts of the national energy guarantee—NEG—will flow through to the ACT, to our own efforts and policies on climate change, and I intend to ensure that these are not jeopardised by substandard federal policies. At the moment the federal policy does indeed appear substandard. It must be improved.

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