Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 6 Hansard (15 May) . . Page.. 1619 ..
MS DUNDAS (continuing):
keeping an election promise such as this is worthy of commendation rather than condemnation, but with Ms Tucker's amendments we are happy to take "congratulations".
The motion moved by Mrs Dunne also raises an important point: the plight of Canberrans who rent privately and from ACT Housing. It is true that private renters are not helped by the current rebate scheme, unless an altruistic landlord takes advantage of the scheme in the upgrade of their property. Renters of ACT Housing are not helped by the rebate scheme either. The utilities bills of ACT Housing tenants create a huge burden on the income of these tenants. Solar hot water systems should be used and could be used to save money on utilities.
The recently released study from Energy Partners in the ACT estimates that the yearly saving on electricity bills could be between $300 and $400. This is a significant saving, and I am certain that many ACT Housing tenants would support and welcome a saving of this sort.
For this reason, I am happy to add my support to a call on the government to install as many solar hot water systems as practicable in ACT Housing dwellings. But this need not replace the rebate scheme. It should be an addition to it.
For private renters, a more clever approach is required. Incentives include further tax rebates, low-interest loans shared between landlord and tenant, and savings to be made on utility bills. The Planning and Environment Standing Committee inquiry into renewable energy may produce more recommendations in this area. I hope we do. Later today I will be moving a motion calling for all householders to be provided with information as to the effect their energy consumption has on the environment, to encourage all householders to take responsibility for their use of energy.
Finally, Mrs Dunne, although there are many predictable members of the Liberal Party here in the Assembly, you are one member that continues to amaze me. I never thought I would see a media release from a Liberal member attacking Labor for being elitist and attacking them for middle-class welfare. This is definitely an indication of the state of modern politics, and it seems that some rhetoric does cut across both of the old parties.
I commend and congratulate the government for their rebate scheme and call on them to work with ACT Housing tenants and with landlords and tenants of the private market to increase the use of solar hot water systems.
MR CORBELL (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations) (12.08): Mr Speaker, the government will be supporting Ms Tucker's amendments. It is worth commenting a bit more about the value of the government's scheme and the approach of the Liberal Party to it. Far from being middle-class welfare, the government scheme assists a great diversity of families in the ACT to get access to technology which potentially would save them thousands of dollars each year and which would save the environment by reducing the rate of greenhouse gas emissions from conventional power sources.