Page 222 - Week 01 - Thursday, 16 February 2006

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MR QUINLAN: I am leaving this place shortly, but I will say this once: you need to grow up. You do not listen. This is schoolyard babble.

Mr Smyth: What do you think you are doing?

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Smyth, cease interjecting.

MR MULCAHY: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I think the minister should direct his response to my question through you.

MR SPEAKER: It would be helpful if the opposition would cease interjecting.

MR QUINLAN: Cabinet will get regular briefings on the risks—up and down. If you are saying that superannuation is a risk, then all of a sudden there should be perfect knowledge of what will happen in 12 months time, or what will happen out of perfect knowledge instantaneously. That is nonsense. Be warned that there are a number of areas, because a number of areas in our budgets are volatile. They have been volatile for many years; they will be volatile in the future.

Occasionally in this place you get a level of final expenditure versus the original budget, and say, “The government missed their budget by this much”. But if you drill down below that, you will find that in most areas there are ons and offs. Even if one year was close and the next year was far away, it does not necessarily mean that the close year was any more accurate; it just means that the ons and offs happened to balance each other. That is the process. That is life. The budget is an estimate. You then go through the process of reality.

Building design—five-star energy rating

MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Minister for Planning. In its election policy the government committed to achieve a mandatory five-star energy rating for new dwellings and a minimum standard for water efficiency. Minister, can you tell the Assembly what action you have taken to deliver on the promise in relation to energy?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. I am very pleased to have announced today that all new dwellings in the ACT will be required to meet a five-star energy rating under mandatory requirements that we will adopt and have in effect from 1 May this year. We will be the second jurisdiction in Australia, after Victoria, to extend to five stars the mandatory requirement for all new dwellings.

Since their introduction, four-star energy rating measures have helped raise community awareness of the important role that building design can play in reducing energy consumption. It has resulted in some improved design, but we need to go further, and that is what the mandatory five-star decision is all about. The introduction of a mandatory five-star energy rating will help the territory to better meet its goals of reduced energy consumption. Obviously, that has major implications for the contribution our city can make to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping to alleviate and moderate the worst consequences of climate change.

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