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Monday, 17 August 2009
Page: 7994


Mr PERRETT (4:26 PM) —I too rise in support of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Bill 2009 and the related bill before the House. These bills action another weapon in our fight against climate change—to ensure that 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity is supplied from renewable energy sources by 2020.

I want to take you back a few years before 2020, to the year 1993. Cast your mind back to the must-see movie of the year. In January 1994 at the Oscars it won three Academy Awards. This movie beat ET as the most financially successful film ever when it was released. As I said, it was the must-see movie of the time. There are so many scenes from that movie that have become common culture, that have become part of the cultural consciousness almost. That first encounter with a brachiosaurus has been voted the 28th most magical moment in cinema history by Empire magazine. The scene where the two raptors are in the kitchen pursuing some of the characters has been ranked the 95th scariest scene of all time, according to Bravo magazine. It is certainly a very, very popular movie and a quite significant movie. Obviously I am talking about a movie about dinosaurs called Jurassic Park.

It is a watershed movie for a lot of filmmakers—a lot of famous filmmakers—because they saw that the use of computer generated imagery would allow them to bring a vision to the screen that previously, before computers were so advanced, was unfeasible or superexpensive. After Jurassic Park came out, George Lucas was able to revisit Star Wars and make his prequels, because he knew that the technology, the computer graphics, was such that he could bring his vision to the screen. The New Zealand director Peter Jackson, with his love of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, now had the technology to bring his vision to the screen.

Jurassic Park was a significant film for lots of reasons. Why did it work as a movie? Obviously it had a great starting point: the novel by Michael Crichton. But the movie worked because the great director Steven Spielberg was able to get the dinosaurs to go where he wanted them to go. He was able to move the dinosaurs around. If he needed a triceratops to enter stage right and walk across the screen, he was able to get it to do that. If he needed a brontosaurus to rear up through the trees and greet Sam Neill up in the treetops, he was able to get the brontosaurus to go exactly where he wanted. If he needed a Tyrannosaurus rex to eat somebody who was cowering in a loo, he spoke, the people under him listened and the dinosaur went where it was told.

Obviously the world has changed a bit since the release of Jurassic Park back in 1993. The world has changed since that movie about dinosaurs came out. Unfortunately, when I look across the chamber now, all I see is Jurassic Park. But, unfortunately, the director’s chair is empty—swinging in the breeze—at the moment. There is nobody sitting in the director’s chair. There is no Steven Spielberg on the opposite side to tell the dinosaurs where to go—to try and marshal the dinosaurs, to say: ‘We need to have a certain vision. We need to go in a certain direction.’

Unfortunately, those opposite are a little bit like one of those other movies that also had a great text, a popular novel, as its basis, and I am talking about Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities. But if you look at that great work of art, Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities, and the movie by Brian De Palma, you can understand how there can be a great gap between the idea and the actualisation, between the vision and the reality. In fact, Brian De Palma’s The Bonfire of the Vanities is universally known as one of the great dud movies. It barely made any money, had poor direction and was nominated for five Golden Raspberry awards—which, I think, might be a bit of a record—for worst picture, worst director, worst actress, worst supporting actress and worst screenplay.

So I call on those opposite to find someone who can sit in that director’s chair, marshal the dinosaurs and get them to go in the direction that is necessary. The vision for 2020 is to make sure that we have 20 per cent of our electricity coming from renewable energy. Now let us look across the room at those opposite and see how their policy development has taken place since election night. I will give the current person sitting in the director’s chair his due and take it from election night. After nearly 20 months in opposition and two failed leaders, the coalition still do not have a realistic policy on climate change. The dinosaurs are still wandering aimlessly, not heading in any particular direction.

In fairness to the Leader of the Opposition, I acknowledge that last week they did release a report. Unfortunately, it is not coalition policy; it did not get up in the party room. But it is the reason, apparently, that they voted against the CPRS legislation on Thursday. What a sad day that was for the people of Australia. What a sad day it was for people like my four-year-old son, who does love dinosaurs—he is fascinated by dinosaurs. But I wonder, when he has a son and when he has grandchildren, what they will think of the current people who make up the Jurassic Park opposite. What will they say about that decision? On that point, I note that I became a great-uncle today when my niece had a son, Leonard Hastings Kallquist, and I say hello to him, a new arrival in the world. I call on those opposite to find someone who will sit in the director’s chair, give some clear directions and make sure that Jurassic Park’s days are numbered.