Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 9 March 2011) . . Page.. 597 ..
initiatives across government and that that time frame is still on track, I do not envisage any impact.
MS LE COUTEUR: A supplementary question, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Le Couteur.
MS LE COUTEUR: Minister, what consultations has the government held with the social services sector about the sustainable energy policy so as to ensure that low income earners are not adversely affected by initiatives within the policy?
MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Le Couteur for the question. Of course, the draft policy was the subject of extensive consultation—over 30 submissions were received during the course of that consultation. I do not have in front of me all the different entities and organisations that made submissions. I would be surprised if, for example, the Council of Social Service did not make a submission on this issue, but I am happy to inform the member of who has made submissions.
It is also important to remember that the government has not been standing still on this issue whilst these policies are being developed, as complex and as important as they are. The government has recently invested over $1 million into an outreach program to assist the lowest income households in Canberra in both public and social housing and also in private rental to assist them with managing their energy costs.
For example, we have funded over 800 households to improve their energy efficiency through retrofitting of the building fabric, such as insulation measures, draught sealing and so on. For private rental tenants we have provided rebates and payments to assist them to purchase low cost, energy efficient appliances, such as fridges, washing machines and other appliances in the home that are major drivers of the energy bills for those households and which can deliver significant savings.
The most recent analysis I have seen in relation to the success of the outreach program has indicated that the savings to the household have been, on average, over $100 per annum in the energy and utility costs of those households as a result of this outreach program. That is a very good example of what the government is doing to reduce costs for low income households, households which are struggling with their energy and utility costs and which are benefiting from the direct result of that type of outreach program.
MS BRESNAN: A supplementary?
MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Bresnan.
MS BRESNAN: Minister, in the development of the policy, did the government consider their election promises to provide $3 million to assist low income earners with efficiency measures and $3 million in rebates to support renters to buy more energy efficient appliances, and what are the outcomes of those considerations?
MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Bresnan for the question. Indeed, this program is, in fact, a reflection of the government’s election commitment in that regard. If I recall