Page 512 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 16 February 2005

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(1) Omit “omit ‘and’ at the end of the paragraph”, substitute:

“Omit ‘mandatory sustainability targets in the building design and construction industry in the ACT; and’, substitute ‘sustainability targets in the building design and construction industry in the ACT.’.”.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (4.31): Thank you for moving the amendment, Mr Seselja. I am just sorry that the amendment in fact weakens the Labor government amendments even further, in my opinion. I liked hearing you say at the end of your speech that the opposition needs to do a little bit more investigation into this. For instance, I think perhaps your understanding of the BASIX tool is not a comprehensive one, because the tool allows trade-offs in various areas. For instance, people may have a water tank or they may have a solar hot water system. What they are doing is trying to collect a number of points, which allow them to pass that threshold. So it is not actually an onerous tool and you would not be surprised to hear, Mr Seselja, that that tool does not go as far as we would like it to. Nonetheless, it does provide a really good entry, it gets people used to thinking that way, it is very user friendly and I do know that ACTPLA are looking at it quite seriously.

I just wanted to respond to your second major point, as I see it, which is that $5,000 is a significant sum to a home owner. I know that that is definitely the case—that is the reason I do not own a house in Canberra as yet. But that $5,000 will very quickly be saved with lower energy bills over time. We did suggest prior to the election that the ACT government, if it were committed to sustainability, would be considering ways to assist people to meet upfront costs of introducing the technologies and the measures that will reduce their bills in the long run and that they could pay those loans off, in the long run, with the savings that they make on their energy bills. So we just do not think those arguments are good enough.

There is something else going on here between the government and the opposition, both of whom, by the way, were flaunting their environmental credentials prior to the election. I do hope that the public become very aware of the things said here. There is something going on when they can combine to block a measure that would put the ACT equal with New South Wales—not ahead of it, as we used to be in planning, but equal with it. So it is a bit of a day of shame. This is the day the Kyoto protocol is being ratified all around the world. If the government were to support a lot of the processes and technologies that we are talking about in this motion, it would assist the development of the alternative industries that we so desperately need here in this territory, because it would open up a market. I think both the opposition and the government believe in a market based approach, but here it looks as though they are missing that opportunity again. So we will be opposing Mr Seselja’s amendment as well.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (4.35): The motion that Dr Foskey has brought forward today is a very important one, and it is timely with the Kyoto protocol; it is a very symbolic measure. But what Dr Foskey is proposing today is unworkable. She sits there and says, “We are greener than you and our credentials are better than yours; you flaunted them before the election but you’re not going to do anything about it now.” Well, Dr Foskey, I give you a challenge to look at the Liberal Party policies on energy efficiency and greenhouse, on water efficiency, on the Bluebell rating scheme and on the Greenbank loan scheme we took to the last election. I give you the challenge: when we

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