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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 8 Hansard (15 August) . . Page.. 2972 ..


government's initiative to improve energy efficiency in public housing, which runs from 2018 until 2021. This budget initiative, worth over $7 million, is providing approximately 2,200 highly efficient heaters and hot water units into public housing through this scheme. Raising the target to 30 per cent in 2020 ensures that privately owned and rented low income households will also continue to receive benefits from the scheme.

The regulatory impact statement presents some options for further increasing energy saving opportunities for low income households by expanding the priority household classes to potentially include all rental houses, family tax benefit part B recipients, ACT services access card holders and additional referral agencies. These are not included in the bill, since they will be achieved later through subordinate legislation.

Madam Speaker, I believe that the extension of the energy efficiency improvement scheme through this bill is responsible and prudent and that it will build on a proven, cost-effective option for reducing energy bills, enhancing social equity and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the territory. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

Official Visitor Amendment Bill 2019

Mr Rattenbury, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Minister for Corrections and Justice Health, Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety and Minister for Mental Health) (10.37): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to introduce the Official Visitor Amendment Bill 2019. The bill amends the Official Visitor Act 2012 and related operational acts. The bill gives effect to the recommendations from a 2017 review of the ACT official visitor scheme, conducted by the Justice and Community Safety Directorate, to strengthen the scheme and support official visitors to do their vital work.

I would like to take this opportunity to talk about the scheme and the work of official visitors in the territory. The official visitor scheme is an independent monitoring scheme for people who are being held in government institutions or staying in community facilities, and who are dependent on service providers. The people in this accommodation are described in the act as "entitled people". The places that can be visited by official visitors are known in the act as "visitable places".

Official visitors are independent statutory office holders, appointed for their skills and expertise. They meet and talk with entitled people in visitable places to hear their concerns and help them resolve any complaints. They make reports to the minister


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