Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Friday, 23 April 2021) . . Page.. 1175 ..
MS CASTLEY: Minister, did any of the 11 companies that registered interest in the $300 million Civic office block propose an all-electric system? If so, why has 220 London Circuit embraced gas?
MR RATTENBURY: I do not know the answer to that question. I did not have access to all 11 of those nominations. That will have been done somewhere else in government. I am happy to try and take that on notice and provide Ms Castley with the answer.
MS LEE: Minister, why should Canberrans heed your advice to ditch gas when you have signed a minimum 20-year lease to house 1,700 public servants in a building run on gas? How many homes or suburbs would have to go off gas to save the equivalent of the gas used in this new government building?
MR RATTENBURY: In seeking to make her political point, Ms Lee has not listened to my first answer, which was that this is a new policy that the ACT government brought in. This building was commissioned prior to this becoming government policy.
Ms Lee: Was the lease signed before or after?
MR RATTENBURY: It was commissioned prior to that. It was commissioned long before this became government policy. She is also failing, as the Liberal Party have done on other occasions, to recognise the fact that what we are trying to create here is an orderly transition off gas. We are trying to begin moving away, and that involves taking decisions now and beginning to move there. We are trying to make sure that, as a first step, no more gas is rolled out. That is the policy.
The Liberal Party have said, “Mr Rattenbury is going to come around to your house and rip out your gas heating system.” They have actually said that. That is not government policy. What we are saying to people is: when your gas system reaches the end of its useful life, which it will, replace it with an all-electric system. It is better for the planet and it is actually better for your bills, because it will be cheaper to run. New modern electric devices are so much better. The commercial sector is not as advanced as the residential sector in this space. It has not happened. The economics of it stack up much better in the residential sector.
I would say to residential households: definitely look at this as a good option for you. The commercial sector is at the beginning of this transition, and we are beginning to see that. That is why we have spoken as widely as we can about what is happening, because we want to encourage others to look at this option, to see that it is technically possible and that it is an affordable option.
MR CAIN: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Minister, I am contacted regularly by constituents about road safety around the Jamison shops. To date the only action taken by the Labor-Greens government has been to install some slow-down signage around the shopping precinct. Minister, when will you fix road safety around Jamison shops?