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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 11 Hansard (8 December) . . Page.. 3245 ..

MR SMYTH: I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, the Government is proposing an amendment to the energy efficiency ratings (sale of premises) legislation to postpone its commencement until 31 March 1999. Members will be aware that there has been a high level of concern expressed by industry and the community over the time people have been given to prepare for this new legislation. The Government's amendment acknowledges the positive nature of the legislation. We simply want to give the community time to prepare for it.

Buying and selling houses can be a time-consuming and costly exercise for Canberrans. Many of us have to budget carefully for the many costs involved, both foreseen and unforeseen. The real estate industry also needs time to prepare and to work this new requirement into its systems and selling plans. Energy efficiency ratings will be a positive selling point in the real estate industry. There are no other changes to the legislation. The Government believes a short three-month extension of time will enable home owners and the real estate industry to plan more effectively. This additional time will also permit the Government to advertise the value of energy efficiency ratings to our community. I commend the Bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Corbell) adjourned.


Debate resumed.

MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer): Mr Speaker, I ask for leave to speak again in this debate without closing the debate.

Leave granted.

MS CARNELL: Thank you. Mr Speaker, we have heard a lot of claims today on both sides of this debate about the views of independent authorities on the proposed sale of ACTEW. We on this side of the house have quoted from reports prepared by people whose expertise in the commercial sphere is unchallenged. On the other side of the house, the Labor Party has claimed that the Australia Institute report commissioned by the Trades and Labour Council is an independent authority.

Mr Berry: We have not said anything.

Mr Stanhope: When have we said that?

MS CARNELL: So they are not independent?

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