Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 6 Hansard (15 May) . . Page.. 1618 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
We want to reduce greenhouse emissions, so we are very supportive of this kind of technology and enabling people to use it.
The Liberals in government did not enforce the energy ratings scheme legislation for rental accommodation. The legislation gave the government the capacity to ensure that the energy rating for a rental house was given to prospective tenants. Let us look at what we all seem to be agreeing we want to achieve instead condemning the government for what the Liberal government should have done. The Liberals' record was not great. They could have done other things with the energy ratings scheme. As Mr Wood pointed out, the water tank scheme was a similar scheme adopted by that government.
I do not want to go into everything the last government did not do right. I am delighted that Mrs Dunne is taking a proactive line in this area. I support the intent of what she has in this motion, apart from the amendments I have moved.
The Assembly needs to think about how we can better facilitate greater use of alternative technology or renewable technology such as solar hot water systems. The Leichhardt City Council have made a solar hot water heater mandatory for new houses. That council has taken quite a radical position. There is cost at the beginning, but it will save money in the long term.
In the Kingston foreshore development we could have seen a much greater commitment to best practice in how houses are situated. The Labor government is now taking a more proactive role in land development. Hopefully, that will mean blocks will be laid out with much more regard to solar access as well as privacy and other issues. That is a good step. That is why I am supporting Mr Corbell in taking a more proactive role in land development. That will give government much better control over the layout of new residential suburbs and such things as solar access. I will be watching closely to see how Mr Corbell progresses with that initiative.
There are issues for people in ACT Housing. Mr Wood raised some good points about the condition of a lot of public housing. He said that all housing is insulated. He must mean roof insulation. I do not think he is claiming that all government housing has wall insulation. It may not be sensible to install that in some of the older stock if we are going to replace it with more socially appropriate models.
If we are spot buying new houses or units for public housing tenants in new developments when the energy efficiency standards of new developments are not that great, we are buying ourselves problems. We have the four-star rating system for new dwellings, but we could have an eight-star system. What is occurring with new buildings is not at the cutting edge, even though in providing for a mandatory energy efficiency standard for new buildings we are doing better than a lot of other places in Australia. There is certainly room for improvement. I look forward to this debate continuing.
MS DUNDAS(12.05): I rise on behalf of the Australian Democrats to add comments on the government's solar hot water rebate scheme, the motion and the amendments. The ALP policy platform released in July last year stated that Labor supported a low-interest loan scheme to encourage householders to buy solar hot water systems. During the election campaign when promises were being made, the current rebate system was promised. Since then the government, to its credit, has delivered on this promise. Surely