Page 2643 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 2 July 2008

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greenhouse strategy on and off all day. Mr Gentleman stood up here and said how much we have done, and what he came up with was a list of, essentially, busy work items. It is a lot of activity and not much achievement.

But if the Stanhope government was serious about this, when Dr Foskey put this on the table they should have been up and about trying to find a means of making it work, because if they wanted to make it work they could. But they have been sitting on their hands since July last year, when they introduced their greenhouse strategy. Dr Foskey introduced this in November last year. Then, at the last minute, they come in and say, “No, the time is not right yet. We have not done our consultation.” It is hypocritical of them and they should be roundly condemned for being hot and cold on this issue, because that is what they are.

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (5.57): There seem to be a number of bills coming before the Assembly which deal with environmental matters, but there seems to be a constant reluctance to consider any of the economic or cost implications of these interventions. I share the view of the attorney about not knowing what the impact will be on the market. For that reason, I am not willing to support the bill.

I think that we need to be very careful before we starting bringing in imposts in a very tight property market, as exists at the present time, that have not been fully thought through. Certainly the trend towards disregard for economic consequences in relation to legislation being introduced on the environmental front worries me. That does not mean I am some environmental heretic, but I do believe that you have to think about what the impact is on our community.

I have long advocated a no-regrets approach. Mr Gentleman said the other day that that was something from the dinosaur age. If reducing million dollar energy bills in hotels, if producing low-energy lighting, producing massive savings on gas usage in kitchens, in catering and other facilities, if changing lighting in car parks to reduce it in terms of energy but making it safe for people who are working or using those facilities is from the dinosaur age, good luck to it.

The fact is that there are an enormous range of measures. Some of them are in the government strategy. I am a little critical of their approach to these matters, but I certainly think there are a lot of measures that we can undertake that are not going to disrupt the market and are not going to cause financial adverse consequences.

This bill proposes a small change to existing laws pertaining to the energy efficiency ratings of properties. It is, nonetheless, important that the incentives and consequences of this proposal are first of all carefully considered.

As has been pointed out by Mrs Dunne, the existing Residential Tenancies Act requires a person who publishes an advertisement for the lease of premises to include a statement of any existing energy efficiency rating of the habitable part of the premises. The bill proposed by Dr Foskey amends this requirement so that the act requires a statement of the energy efficiency rating, regardless of whether there is an existing energy efficiency rating calculated for the property. This means that the owner of a property which does not already have an energy efficiency rating calculated must go out and obtain an EER for the property before they are able to advertise the property for lease.

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