Page 3039 - Week 08 - Thursday, 7 August 2008

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The climate change initiative demonstrates this government’s commitment to the environment and to the welfare of public and community housing tenants. The environmental benefits will accrue for many years. At the same time, it will afford many public housing properties considerable savings on their annual household energy costs.

Housing ACT is currently installing solar hot water systems in many of its properties. As you would be aware, solar hot water systems use the heat from the sun to produce hot water at a significantly lower cost.

I am also pleased to advise you that Housing ACT has installed photovoltaic electricity systems at two of its complexes. Photovoltaic systems generate electricity by converting energy from the sun into electricity. I have more, but time got away.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. My supplementary question is: what further energy efficiency savings do you perceive for ACT housing?

MR HARGREAVES: I was talking about the photovoltaic systems that generate electricity by converting energy from the sun into electricity. A number of housing complexes have had panels installed on their roofs, and they generate electricity which is fed back into the electricity grid. I would like to record our appreciation of Mr Gentleman putting photovoltaic energy on to the road map of energy production. It is this sort of leadership that this side of the house provides to the community of the ACT. Those opposite sit there gobsmacked—well, somebody smacked their gob, anyway. I do not know quite who it was, but they have had their gob smacked quite a number of times.

Consideration has been given to installing photovoltaic systems when small systems are constructed by Housing ACT. I have said in the past in this chamber that the construction of big, 200-unit dwellings is over. But that does not mean we are not going to build some smaller ones of, say, 12 units, sometimes two storeys, sometimes one. In those instances, we will be looking to put photovoltaic systems in those complexes. These systems will enhance the environmental benefits, save on energy costs for public housing and, hopefully, encourage other landlords and homeowners to do the same.

We have another 11 weeks to go until the election, and I am yet to hear any policy on energy efficiency in public housing from the Liberal Party. In fact, I am yet to hear any policy from the Liberals on either the environment in general or public housing. Mrs Burke has kept very silent of late, no doubt being gagged by her boss. As we know, he has been endorsing Giulia with a “G” instead of Mrs Burke with a “B”. What have we got? We have got a B-grade player over there.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Direct your comments through me, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, we have a B-grade player over there.

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