Page 2645 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 2 July 2008

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energy bills will be lower. And these are matters for the tenant to look for, and the tenant needs as much information as they can get.

I do get sick of the patronising way that the government and some other members do treat my utterances. One of the best is that I am well intentioned but misguided; but, secondly, that I am somehow or other misinformed.

I want to also point out that there are issues on this. House energy ratings do affect sale prices and rental prices in the ACT. We all know that energy efficient places do attract higher rent; so it is not right to use the “poor landlord” approach to this one; nor do I think it is right to use the “poor tenant” approach. I think everybody wins in this one. And everyone wins in the end because we are, after all, trying to mitigate climate change.

It seems to me what is forgotten is that it is bigger than just our pocket, the landlord’s pocket and the tenant’s pocket. We really are going to need to be facing these issues. You will probably be putting it before us yourself later, Mr Corbell and the rest of your government.

I want to conclude by reading from a media release of 2 May 2008 by Energy Partners, which says that the ACT is no longer a national leader on energy efficiency and then says:

The ACT Government has allowed developers to reduce the energy efficiency of all new apartment blocks in Canberra.

On May 1st the ACT adopted the 2008 Building Code of Australia requirements for energy efficiency ratings … While sounding like progress, in reality this means Canberra’s energy efficiency standards have fallen to equal the worst in Australia.

For the past decade all new apartments had to achieve an Energy Efficiency Rating … of 4 stars or above. However the new code only requires an average EER of 4 stars in an apartment block, meaning that new apartments could have energy efficiency ratings as low as 3 stars. In effect, the ACT has reverted to our energy efficiency standards of 1995, more than a decade ago.

It worries me when I read, in action 19, after a perfectly good action:

Where practical, the ACT Government will extend its program to include commercial and rental properties.

That was pointedly omitted from Mr Gentleman’s list of things that the government is doing. “Where practical” is in itself a concern. Practical for whom? But the second paragraph of that is:

It is noted that work is being undertaken at the Commonwealth level under the National Framework for Energy Efficiency. The ACT acknowledges and will ensure consistency with this work and will introduce legislation implementing agreed national outcomes.

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