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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 2885 ..

Housing Trust - Environmental Policies and Guidelines

MS HORODNY: My question is directed to the Minister for Housing and Family Services, Mr Stefaniak. In light of the Government's stated support for the environment, what policies and guidelines are in place to promote environmentally sustainable practices in public housing in the ACT?

MR STEFANIAK: I thank the member for the question. I give credit where credit is due. Credit is due not just to this Government; it is due to previous governments, including previous Labor governments and previous Federal governments. Traditionally, ACT housing has often been in the forefront of environmentally friendly and up-to-date designs for public housing. This Government is certainly no exception. In fact, we have in our party policy - and it is being implemented by the Housing Trust - that any new housing properties must have due regard to the latest thinking in terms of environmental matters; they have to be environmentally friendly. I recently had the pleasure of opening a number of trust properties which are new and which bear that in mind. We have not only the physical environment but also the human environment. We are putting smoke detectors in all of our Housing Trust properties in an effort to ensure that the safety of our tenants is maximised.

MS HORODNY: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. I have been informed that ACT Housing will not repair or set up clothes lines at public housing facilities where electric clothes driers are available. Does the Minister believe that promoting the use of a power-hungry electric clothes drier, when a cheap air- and solar-powered alternative has been used since time immemorial, is an environmentally sound practice?

MR STEFANIAK: I would be interested to see how many electric driers are used; but we do have to take into account our climate in Canberra and things like that. I am happy to look into that further if you have any specific concerns. I would be grateful if you would supply me with some more information. It may well be that that is appropriate in a number of instances. Our Housing Trust homes have been given a five-star rating.

Mrs Carnell: I ask that all further questions be put on the notice paper.

Public Accounts Committee

MS FOLLETT: Mr Speaker, on 7 December 1995 I was asked a question without notice by Mr Kaine about people consulted by the Public Accounts Committee in relation to its inquiry into the Public Sector Management (Amendment) Bill.

MR SPEAKER: Yes; it was in your capacity as chair of that committee.

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