Round Table On Sustainability

12 Oct 2004 questionsarchive

I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Industry and Trade, representing the Premier, a question regarding the Premier’s round table on sustainability

The Hon. Caroline Schaefer interjecting:

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: Round and round and round, indeed! During the course of the round table’s first meeting on 6 November 2003, a number of suggestions for the future of the round table were made. Included among them was mention of a possible link with the Thinkers in Residence program. It was thought that one thinker every year could be dedicated to the round table. The members believed that this would help the table to fulfil its terms of reference which call on the table to engage successfully with stakeholders in the community. My questions are:

1.Given the pride which the Premier has in the Thinkers in Residence program (initiated under the previous government) and the importance placed on the round table on sustainability—

The Hon. Caroline Schaefer: It will be good when he gets some doers in residence.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: —doers in residence, indeed—why has he ignored the suggestion made at the first meeting to link the two by having at least one thinker per year dedicated to the round table?

2. When Peter Cullen was given the position of Thinker in Residence, why was the round table not mentioned in the media release that was so promptly put out by the Premier?

Given this absence, does the Premier consider the round table to be anything more than a waste of the $200 000 that was budgeted for the year 2003-04; and, finally, is the Premier at all concerned about sustainability of the environment?

The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY (Minister for Industry and Trade): What a patronising question. I will answer for the Premier. Of course, the Premier is very interested in sustainability—I think one would only have to look at the many initiatives—but perhaps I should take this question on notice, because I am sure the Premier would be absolutely delighted to put on the record all the things he has done. So I take back my answer to the question. I will invite the Premier to provide an answer and give a full list of the many initiatives that he has taken in relation to this subject. I am sure he would enjoy doing so immensely.

Thursday 14 April 2005

In reply to Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (12 October 2004).

The Hon. T.G. ROBERTS: The Minister for Environment and Conservation has advised that:

1. The Thinkers in Residence program was initiated by the current Premier. Its purpose is to encourage discussion of a diversity of ideas in the community. The Round Table also contains many talented thinkers who can advise the government and encourage debate in the community on environmental sustainability. I understand Thinkers in Residence and the Round Table do meet and share ideas and organise events to foster these goals.

2. The sponsors for Peter Cullen were the Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation, SA Water and CSIRO, and these organisations were therefore the organisations referred to in the media release. Peter Cullen engaged with the Round Table in the following ways:

Worked closely with two members on consideration of the report for Government;

Attended a Round Table quarterly meeting to discuss his views on SA's water supply; and

Met with the chairs of Round Table committees to discuss water issues and the Wentworth Group of Scientists model of operation.

3. As explained above, there is no significance in the Round Table not having been included in the press release about Peter Cullen's visit.

The Round Table recently released its first formal report to Government. At the launch the Premier thanked the Round Table for its work and praised its commitment to identifying and acting on the issues that threaten our long-term environmental sustainability.

4. The Premier has a strong record in environmental

sustainability. Highlights of this Government's leadership include the following decisions and commitments:

The targets in South Australia's Strategic Plan relating to environmental issues;

Leadership in the COAG Agreement on the Murray and the National Water Initiative;

Plans to prescribe the water resources of the Western Mount Lofty Ranges;

Mandatory plumbed rainwater tanks on all new homes from July 2006;

A five-star energy rating for new housing built from July 2006;

A four year extension of the current solar hot water subsidy;

Extending the Solar Schools program to provide solar power to 250 schools by 2014;

Progressive installation of solar power to other key government buildings including Parliament House;

Expanding the One Million Trees program to Three Million Trees by 2014;

Preference for all new Government office leases to those buildings that meet at least five-star energy rating from July 2006.

All office buildings newly constructed from January 2005, to use 5-star classification under the Green Building Council's Green Star system, if they are to be used by Government.