Page 508 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 16 February 2005

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(a) emissions with targets that are linked to Territory sustainability targets; and

(b) the strategies have the capacity and flexibility to increase the sustainability standards;

(4) notes the Government’s commitment in its policies to implementing sustainability requirements for all new commercial and multi-storey residential buildings using a recognised assessment and rating tool; and

(5) agrees that the Government will report back to the Assembly on the progress in implementing these strategies, on an annual basis.”.

Before I move on to the substance of the motion and my amendments, I foreshadow that the members opposite intend to put forward an amendment to remove the word “mandatory” from the first part of Dr Foskey’s motion, and I foreshadow for the Assembly that the government will support that amendment. Dr Foskey’s motion calls upon the government to recognise the need for mandatory sustainable targets in the building design and construction industry in the ACT. This government is committed to sustainability and is working hard to ensure that both the government and the community contribute effectively to the territory progressing towards a more sustainable future, environmentally, socially and economically. That is a true commitment to triple bottom line.

The government’s 2004 election platform included commitments that will require all new single residential dwellings to achieve a level of energy rating consistent with the standards being developed for the building code of Australia, and a minimum standard for water efficiency. We will introduce an energy efficiency rating methodology equivalent to GreenStar, currently being prepared by the Australian Building Codes Board for introduction into the building code of Australia, for all new commercial and multistorey residential buildings, and establish new standards for water sensitive urban design in new greenfield developments and in significant redevelopment projects. We are also committed to re-establish Canberra as an Australian centre for sustainable and innovative design through targeted initiatives, programs and public land development activities.

Based on these commitments, the ACT Planning and Land Authority is investigating tools and strategies to improve the environmental performance of buildings. These policies and tools must be able to be applied in a way that does not compromise the building code of Australia, established by way of an intergovernmental agreement to provide for uniform building standards across Australia. We must not enact things that compromise those intergovernmental agreements that have been struck. These tools must also not complicate the planning system. The last thing in the world we need is further complications of our planning system. I see Mrs Dunne is in fact in absolute and complete agreement with any undertaking not to make the planning system any more complicated. These tools must also be applied in a way that produces clear sustainability dividends in a manner that is cost effective to the community, to industry and to government. They are challenges indeed.

To this end it is imperative that these investigations are thorough, consultative and do not result in hasty decisions being made that commit all to a regime that is impractical,

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