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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 13 Hansard (4 December) . . Page.. 3844..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

of 30 to 40 energy audits will be carried out on a sample of Housing ACT properties. The output from the audits will be used to refine the program of works for the outgoing years. A brochure will be sent to all the tenants on actions they can take to reduce the use of energy. This follows up on information provided to tenants in 2006.

On the question of water demand, the government has identified $500,000 over two years for water efficiency improvements. The improvements will include dual-flush toilets, cistern inlet valves, doust valves and water-efficient showerheads. Housing ACT properties make up nine per cent of the total residential properties in the ACT. These measures will make a significant contribution to reducing the use of energy and water. They also continue the government's commitment to support people in our community who are on low incomes.

Again I thank very much the work of the committee. I also appreciate the input the community had into the deliberations of the committee. I would like to put on the public record that I do appreciate that. I am particularly interested in the interviews with the youth coalition around our Civic safety program and ACTION bus improvements. It is often very, very difficult to talk to everybody but we do try to do the best we can. If you have a look at the initiatives in this particular supplementary appropriation, Mr Speaker, you will see we have the safety of our citizens at heart and want to make sure that our young people have the best opportunity to travel safely on our public transport system and within the taxi system. I do thank some members, even for their interjections, around the state of the wheelchair-accessible taxi system and I continue to battle that one.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.27 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Australian public service—proposed cuts

MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Chief Minister. Prior to the federal election on 24 November this year, the leader of the Labor Party, Kevin Rudd, made several references to implementing cuts to the Australian public service, with the potential to slash thousands of jobs in the ACT. Chief Minister, what conversations have you had or intend to have with the Prime Minister to impress upon him the importance of the commonwealth public service to our ACT economy and the effects that the federal government cuts to the Australian public service will have on our economy?

MR STANHOPE: I thank the Leader of the Opposition for the question. It gives me an opportunity to congratulate Kevin Rudd and the Labor Party generally on a historic victory. The people of Australia, 10 days ago, spoke decisively about their absolute determination to rid the nation of Howardism—a dark period in the history of Australia. The long and hard job of repairing the damage started decisively yesterday, with the decision to ratify the Kyoto accord—something that should have been done 10 years ago, and something that John Howard, the world's great climate change sceptic and denier, refused to do. We saw the response of the people of Australia to

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