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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 5 Hansard (30 May) . . Page.. 1191..

MR BARR (continuing):

We know the position of the opposition when it comes to public education: oppose every measure to invest in the system. They have been doing that consistently. The fact that it has taken until the end of May for Mrs Dunne to even ask a question on education gives you an idea of how devoid the opposition are of any policy on education—nothing to say, nothing constructive. You sit there and stew whilst we invest the money the public education system needs. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves.


MR SPEAKER: Before I go to you, Dr Foskey, I welcome two staff from the new Autonomous Bougainville Government who are here on a training attachment.

Questions without notice

Environment—household electricity use

DR FOSKEY: I am also very pleased to note that the Bougainvilleans are two women. That is great.

My question is to the minister for climate change, Mr Stanhope, and is in regard to household electricity use. Is the minister aware that Actew is currently running a program whereby Canberra residents are encouraged to use more electric power by providing interest-free loans so that they can purchase air-conditioning units, which are the biggest guzzlers of all, and offering power at a cheaper rate for a lifetime so long as a certain rather high amount of electricity is used, in exchange for Actew installing the air conditioners? Could the minister please explain how this assists us in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and why he has not asked Actew to offer similar interest-free loans for householders who wish to install solar panels in order to run their air-conditioning units.

Mrs Dunne: Because he's opposed to the green bank scheme.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mrs Dunne. How many times?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Dr Foskey for her question. I think it is fair to say at the outset that ActewAGL provides a range of incentives across the board in relation to what is now a highly competitive market for the retail of electricity in the ACT and throughout Australia. I think there are seven companies now competing with ActewAGL within the Australian Capital Territory in pursuit of customers. In that sense, ActewAGL has a range of incentives or marketing strategies which it employs as a method for highlighting its place within the ACT and its services and product.

By and large, I endorse the work which ActewAGL undertakes as a company half owned by the people of the Australian Capital Territory in relation to which we have a particular and significant interest. To that extent, I endorse broadly the marketing strategies employed by ActewAGL. I certainly endorse ActewAGL in the context of its support for and sponsorship of many activities throughout this community as the ACT's leading corporate citizen. There is no Canberran who would deny the significance of the support that ActewAGL provides in a range of ways to this community. I applaud it and its support for Canberra and for the people of Canberra.

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