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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 7 Hansard (17 June) . . Page.. 2404..


MS LE COUTEUR (continuing):

standard. This measure simply allows people who have recently purchased a hot-water system to utilise the warranty that came with the system if they so choose.

Another change in this new version of the bill is the addition of a regulation-making power. The bill permits the making by regulation of additional exemptions to the efficiency standard. This is permitted for circumstances where technical restraints would make meeting the standard unfeasible or unreasonably difficult. This gives the bill important flexibility. It recognises that, in some cases, there could be technical restraints which will prevent the efficiency standard operating efficiently in every situation. As an example, some dwellings in Canberra do not have access to natural gas. A very small percentage of these might also be in a situation where they have insufficient solar exposure.

It is also possible that heat pump technology might be inappropriate because of very close proximity to neighbours. Potentially, for houses as unfortunate as these, the regulation-making power could be used to exempt this type of dwelling by allowing the technical detail of an exemption to be set in a regulation. I expect the government will be pleased with this additional power. It allows it to use the building expertise in ACTPLA to set technical exemptions. The power cannot, of course, be used to water down the bill; it can only be used when the technical restraints make meeting the standard unreasonable.

Lastly, the bill ensures that the efficiency standard is comprehensible to the general public. A new section will require the minister to publish a yearly list of hot-water systems which are compliant so that purchasers can make the right purchase.

I commend this bill to the Assembly. It is an important and timely initiative. I look forward to Liberal and Labor parties supporting this in August. It will see the ACT catch up with three other Australian states which have already taken action on this issue, and it will get us two years ahead of the COAG timetable in the critical fight against climate change.

Debate (on motion by Mr Barr) adjourned to the next sitting.

Personal explanation

MR COE (Ginninderra): I seek leave to make a personal explanation under standing order 46.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Coe, do you claim you were misrepresented?

MR COE: Yes, I do.

MR SPEAKER: Proceed.

MR COE: Yesterday, Mr Stanhope made some inaccurate comments by speech and also by media release, and I seek to clarify the record. I have not received a briefing on the TAMS portfolio as requested, and, in actual fact, as per my letter of 1 December 2008, I am still waiting for briefings on municipal services, government


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