Page 3037 - Week 08 - Thursday, 7 August 2008

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MR STANHOPE: I do, but, as always, I want to be certain in my response. It is part of our commitment always to be absolutely truthful, honest, open and transparent in our answers. For the sake of certainty, it would be best if I took the question on notice to provide that detail.

In terms of the second part of the question—was there anything in relation to the accounts or the operation of the company that was relevant to a decision to terminate the negotiations?—the answer is no.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Mulcahy?

MR MULCAHY: Thank you, Chief Minister, for that information and undertaking. How much longer will the ACT government, or more particularly the taxpayer, bear the cost of Rhodium losses?

MR STANHOPE: As I announced some weeks ago, as a result of the breakdown in negotiations for the sale of Rhodium, the government will pursue a different path. We will now seek, through an expression of interest process, to identify a provider of fleet services for the territory. There is a state of flux. I would not and cannot answer that question with any certitude. But I am certainly more than happy to seek what information is available or what assumptions Treasury have made in relation to the accounts and I am more than happy to make that available for members.

Public housing—energy efficiency

MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Minister for Housing. Minister, the government announced its climate change strategy last year. The strategy included investment of $20 million over 10 years to improve the energy efficiency of public housing properties. What is the progress on this initiative?


Opposition members interjecting—

MR HARGREAVES: Two seconds before they squealed! I thank Mr Gentleman for the question and for his ongoing interest in the plight of our homeless and people in public housing because it is an interest that has been of very long standing, in stark contrast to those chirpers across the channel.

The government’s climate change strategy, Weathering the Change, is a landmark commitment to reducing emissions. It recognises that, as public housing is approximately nine per cent of total housing stock in the territory, improvements to these dwellings are critical to meet the challenge of climate change. As public housing in the ACT is, on average, the oldest stock of any state or territory, the energy efficiency ratings on many of the properties are low. Weathering the Change responds to the fact that climate change will impact disproportionately more on lower income earners and older people and those residing in older homes.

I am pleased to announce that the government has made significant progress on this initiative, with over $1 million worth of improvements already being carried out at

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