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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 11 Hansard (15 November) . . Page.. 3530..


MR BARR (continuing):

and for cleaning the paved area. Low-maintenance and environmentally friendly materials will be used in construction; and there will be a building management system to provide intelligent building controls for lighting, heating and ventilation.

This design builds on the success of the Amaroo school, which won an MBA national environment and efficiency building award. Amaroo school has solar hot water panels to supplement the in-slab heating and hot water systems; natural ventilation systems, again, to cool the school; roof-mounted photovoltaic cells to generate electricity; a wind turbine which also generates electricity, and water storage tanks to collect stormwater for recycling within the school.

The Birrigai outdoor school, which was completed in May this year, also addresses sustainability issues and makes use of solar power, low water use appliances and natural ventilation and lighting. The new West Belconnen school will also follow these design principles and be responsive to the demands of environmental sustainability.

There are also 13 government schools that are participating in the sustainable schools pilot program which has begun to coordinate each school's approach to environmental sustainability through the establishment of a school environmental management plan. This complements existing programs in schools such as energy smart schools, WasteWise, Waterwatch, WaterWise and Landcare.

It is not just new schools which boast these great initiatives. Campbell high school was the first school in the ACT to supply electricity from the sun to the local grid back in April 2001. Approximately 8,000 kilowatt hours of electricity are produced per year. I understand this is the equivalent of saving about eight tonnes of greenhouse gas and represents two per cent of the school's annual greenhouse gas emissions.

Farrer primary school has a separate and purpose-built environment centre which was built in 1999. The centre is the hub for science and environmental educational activities for all of the students across the school. As Mr Hargreaves indicated earlier today, Hawker primary school has recently been awarded a no waste award.

These are but a few of the projects that have been undertaken in our schools. There are, of course, many more examples. An ecologically sustainable approach is the responsible approach. The government would like to see it expanded into all our schools. That is why the government has invested a record $90 million over the next four years to upgrade our schools. A major component of this in coming financial years will be to retrofit older schools to make them more ecologically sustainable.

The government will be taking advice from groups such as the Green Building Council of Australia, who are currently developing a green star education rating tool in order to fund projects within our schools to improve energy efficiency. This assists the environment and also helps to reduce the long-term running costs of our schools. It also assists us in educating our students on the importance of sustainability.


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