Page 965 - Week 03 - Thursday, 3 April 2008

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Work on giving effect to the government’s initiatives is well underway. The rollout of energy efficiency measures includes wall insulation and/or top ups to the ceiling insulation; more efficient hot water systems, including solar; improved house heaters; water-saving devices have been installed, such as AAA rated water-saving shower heads, doust valves and other water flow retardants; dual-flush cisterns and boundary valves. Since the beginning of 2008, 200 energy efficient hot water systems have been installed and water-saving devices have been provided to 450 dwellings.

The focus on energy efficiency is, of course, also applied to property purchases. New purchases have to meet a minimum of three-star energy rating. If a house is specifically required but does not meet this requirement, Housing ACT will purchase the house and carry out works to bring it up to at least a three-star rating, and if possible a four-star rating.

Houses constructed by Housing ACT at a minimum meet the energy rating standard applied by the ACT Planning and Land Authority. If it can, Housing ACT exceeds the standard. Water-efficient design methods are also used. Housing ACT is also looking to try new technology such as photovoltaic cells. This will be trialled in a small multi-unit complex to see what the benefits are and what issues arise. Depending upon the outcome of the trial, further photovoltaic cells may be installed at other properties.

The ACT government has also supported the water and energy savings in the WEST program for some time. Housing ACT has been a strong advocate of the WEST program. This program targets low-income households who are high energy users and it offers an opportunity through education and some refit works to reduce their energy bills.

It is important that the energy efficiency improvements be directed at those properties which have a long-term future as public housing properties. Members may recall that late last year I foreshadowed a review of the public housing asset management strategy and I am pleased to say that that work is close to completion. The strategy recognises that more up-to-date and more efficient properties are cheaper to run, not only from a maintenance perspective but also for those living in them.

The ACT government and Housing ACT are making a significant contribution to improving the energy efficiency of public housing in the ACT, improvements that it is more than happy to share with people who are not as well off as those of us here in the Assembly. I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Debate (on motion by Dr Foskey) adjourned to the next sitting.

University of Canberra—management

Discussion of matter of public importance

MR SPEAKER: I have received letters from Mrs Burke, Mrs Dunne, Dr Foskey, Mr Gentleman, Ms MacDonald, Mr Mulcahy, Ms Porter, Mr Seselja, Mr Smyth and Mr Stefaniak proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the

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