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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 July 2010) . . Page.. 3164 ..


school-based management. I would like to see all members support the training packages which combat skill shortages and the investment in student safety. It would be particularly disappointing if, after all of his grandstanding in recent weeks and months, Mr Doszpot did not vote in favour of more funding for students with a disability.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure—Part 1.16—ACT Planning and Land Authority—$40,758,000 (net cost of outputs) and $1,814,000 (capital injection), totalling $42,572,000.

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (8:28): I will start off with two very positive items in this budget, or related to this budget, for ACTPLA. They are two items which relate to the Labor-Greens parliamentary agreement. The first is solar access. It has been a long time coming but we finally have the draft territory plan variation for this. It has come out in the middle of this double sitting week so we have not yet had time to examine it in detail, but we are obviously planning to do so with great enthusiasm.

Solar access really should be a no-brainer for new houses. These days I would say it is almost criminal, with climate change and increasing energy prices, to build houses where people are condemned to live without access to the sun. But that is still happening in the ACT. Solar access is something which cannot be easily fixed after the house is built. You cannot pick them up and move them around very easily. If the block layout is right then solar access is easy. The Greens are very pleased that the government is finally acting on this very important building matter.

The other item that was in the parliamentary agreement and to be implemented by 2010 is six-star energy efficiency ratings for all new houses. This will reduce energy costs and improve the liveability of our houses. We think it is a very good first step, although we are calling upon the government to do more in the future and to move to a seven-star minimum. There are quite a few houses in Canberra at present which are seven-star or even eight-star rated. Modelling has shown that a seven-star rating is the most cost efficient over a period of time. The additional construction costs are minimal if the block is properly orientated. The energy savings and the increase in comfort will last as long as the house.

However, there is another item in the parliamentary agreement where progress is not quite so rosy. I refer here to Molonglo. The agreement commits the Labor Party to ensuring Molonglo incorporates excellence in sustainable design. This is a high priority for the ACT Greens. We acknowledge that work has been done by the government on this but, in the Greens’ view, the current plans for Molonglo do not yet reach that standard.

While the budget made funding for roads and land release infrastructure clear, the budget’s commitment to sustainability initiatives is much less clear. It talked about a sustainability strategy for Wright and Coombs, water saving device measures for new homes, maximum solar access requirements—which I have just touched on—a riparian management strategy for the Molonglo River corridor, and provisions for sustainable transport. Despite questioning about this in the estimates process and a considerable amount of discussion with the government, at this stage the Greens are not yet confident that all of these are proceeding at a satisfactory rate.


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