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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 13 Hansard (4 December) . . Page.. 3907..

MR GENTLEMAN (continuing):

for teachers but also for building services officers, administration staff and canteen staff.

From the initial development phase of these guides, experts were consulted in order to achieve the most effective goals. It became obvious to this government that for a school to become sustainable it would require active support from all of the staff, and that is why the government is doing all it can to support initiatives such as this that are aimed at educating the wider school community. I am pleased to inform the Assembly that, due to the positive reaction to these guides, Territory and Municipal Services are now developing best practice guides for ACT government offices.

The ACT climate change strategy Weathering the Change encourages schools to become carbon-neutral by 2017. This tool kit will help schools to work towards this goal. These folders also contain walk-through audits for water, waste and energy. This encourages students to participate in audits and contribute to the development and implementation of an action plan to address problem areas. In order to include the entire school in this process of change, a school grounds and biodiversity survey encourages all schools to take part in the program.

Schools are encouraged to protect their existing flora and fauna. These surveys will allow everyone to have a say about what they like and do not like about their school grounds. The Australian sustainable schools initiative in the ACT has developed a database to record the data from each school audit. The data from the audits will provide invaluable information on the consumption levels of water, waste and energy in ACT schools. As new reduction strategies are implemented, these schools can use the information to monitor their progress.

The environmental footprint of the ACT will have a better chance of decreasing with the implementation of this tool kit, and I recommend this excellent resource to all ACT schools.

Federal election

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (6.07): I want to talk about the profound change that has occurred in Canberra over the last week or so. It is very interesting that, although nothing changed in terms of Canberra's political representation, and we still have the same members sitting in the House of Representatives, and most likely in the Senate—although the vote on the second Senate seat has not been called yet, it does look as though it will be retained by the Liberals—the impact of the change of the federal government is most profoundly felt in Canberra, more than anywhere else in Australia.

The reason that this happens, as we all know, although we are not hearing it talked about, is the public discourse focusing on whether the Prime Minister will live in the Lodge—or even whether it should be called the Lodge, because that makes it sound like a fishing hut somewhere on the lake. Of course, it is on a lake somewhere. There is also the question of whether we should be building a new Lodge, or residence, and whether that can be justified by making it more energy efficient.

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