Page 911 - Week 03 - Thursday, 10 March 2005

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and a range of regulations to support more efficient use of water in the home, office and garden.

Again, all of these contribute to benchmarking sustainable urban development. You will note from the comprehensive list that regulating or mandating things is only one measure, and there is definitely more carrot than stick involved. Behaviour changes are fundamental to achieving the targets, and the government will assist with achieving these behavioural changes by providing incentives and education. The government also has targets related to greenhouse gas emissions and a strong commitment to enhancing the energy efficiency of our buildings.

The government’s recent 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 and introduce an energy efficiency rating methodology equivalent to the green star rating 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.

The Stanhope Labor government is leading the country in terms of its commitment to sustainability, as our election commitments and the programs we have put in place clearly demonstrate. For instance, subject to consultations with the community and sustainability experts, the government will establish a sustainability act that will assist government agencies to incorporate sustainability into their decisions and actions. This legislation will help to improve agency decisions that influence the development of Canberra, the way buildings are designed and materials that are use, the way government procures its goods and service and the use of energy and water in the ACT, and it will help to improve the way our decisions affect the community.

We have already begun changing the way government does its business. I would like to remind the Assembly that the government has committed $150,000 in this year’s budget for energy audits of government buildings to be carried out to help agencies identify how to use energy more efficiently. Only recently we approved a circular for use by government agencies on environmentally sustainable procurement. In its own major infrastructure projects, the government will meet the principles of sustainability. The new ACT prison will provide a concrete example of how these principles can be incorporated in the design and operation of major government buildings.

We will spend $4 million to upgrade public housing stock and $5 million in schools to make them more energy efficient. We will spend $1.2 million over the next four years on helping ACT residents to improve energy efficiency in the home. This funding will contribute to reducing greenhouse impacts of energy use in the ACT. The government is committed to sustainability and strongly recognises the importance of sustainable urban development. If we are to reduce further targets or mandate targets or benchmarks for certain sectors of the community or economy, we will do so only after considering the social, economic and environmental impact of these measures.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! The discussion is concluded.

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