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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 6 Hansard (15 May) . . Page.. 1623 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

be less than efficient. I would have thought that what Mrs Dunne is proposing is exactly what an incoming Labor government would have thought was exemplary behaviour in their commitment to ACT Housing tenants.

I heard Mr Wood-I am not sure whether any other members of the government said it-say "in principle". So maybe my hope has not been dashed entirely. Maybe in the coming years, when they see the errors of their ways, they will look at what Mrs Dunne is suggesting. It is sensible. It is sequential. It builds on things we did. It should be an example to rate jurisdictions of what they should be doing with their public housing stock, because it is the right thing to do.

We will be opposing the amendments. The motion is saying that the scheme reinforces an inequity. It gives money to those paying off their own accommodation who can perhaps afford a solar hot water system, although it endeavours to help those who cannot. As a priority, the government should look after their own first and lead by example, which is what we did.

Amendments agreed to.

MRS DUNNE (12.27): I am concerned about the nonchalant approach of the minister for housing. In my introductory speech, I spoke about the lack of vision on the government benches. That was reinforced when Mr Wood stood to speak. It was perfectly obvious that he either had not read or had not taken in the essential intent of the motion.

We are not saying that Bill Wood should replace every hot water system with a solar hot water system tomorrow. It is about sequential change. We were told, "It is really difficult to do maintenance. We would like to do it but we cannot." Mr Wood is saying that if you are an ACT Housing tenant and your hot water system breaks down you may not get one to replace it. You can have a warm inner glow about your middle-class welfare for people who already own houses, but you are essentially saying that if you are a government housing tenant and your hot water system blows this winter you may not even get a warm shower.

Mr Wood: I do not know about that, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: You said it was difficult to keep up with the maintenance. It is all just a bit too difficult. You said you had to do the best you can. This motion says that if a hot water system breaks down in a government house and it is no longer serviceable replace it with a solar one. Mr Wood, you are using somebody else's money on your project, and you are too mean to look after your own tenants. You are too mean to lead by example.

Mr Wood said that architects have to look at cost-effective options when designing government housing. Every piece of literature you care to read shows that the installation of a solar hot water system is, in the long term, cost efficient, energy efficient and greenhouse efficient. Mr Wood said that greenhouse was the main issue I am concerned about. He obviously did not listen, as well as not read the motion. The motion is about energy efficiency, it is about greenhouse, and it is about providing social equity by reducing the cost of living for the people who are least able to pay for these things.

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