Page 3263 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 19 August 2008

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committed to providing Canberrans with the resources, incentives and support they need to make their contribution.

The response to the government’s program to assist people to reduce their carbon footprint and to use our resources in a more sustainable way has been overwhelming. We provided an energy wise program to audit households’ energy use. Through this free advisory service, ACT residents can work out how to save money by improving energy efficiency in and around the house and at the same time assist in reducing the ACT’s greenhouse emissions. Another service is the home energy advice team, HEAT; for $30, a professional energy auditor from the HEAT service will visit your home, check the features of your house that affect your energy use and identify where savings can be made. Eligible home owners are able to receive a $500 rebate from the ACT government for energy efficiency measures such as the installation of a solar hot water service.

Canberrans also responded with gusto to the government’s think water, act water program. As we have been enduring the longest drought on record, we are all aware of how precious this natural resource is. Because of this government’s leadership, Canberrans have been able to contribute to the sustainable use and management of our water resources. The government provides a garden smart program to assist Canberrans to plant and cultivate gardens that require less water and that are better suited to the climate conditions of our region. We have a program that provides rebates on the installation of dual-flush toilets.

Mr Assistant Speaker Gentleman, I am sure that you share my interest in the latest state of the environment report in which the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment, Dr Cooper, provided a comprehensive stocktake of the ACT’s environment. While Dr Cooper’s report points to some areas where we need to do much better—such as waste reduction, and the government will respond—the report does confirm that Canberrans have been very effective in tackling environmental issues through high levels of recycling and reduced urban water consumption. This is something we should all be very proud of as it shows what kind of results can be achieved when we all switch our thinking and consider the impacts of our behaviour and choices.

This government is providing the leadership and the framework for us to contribute even more to climate change solutions. Our $100 million 10-year investment in tackling climate change, the climate change strategy “weathering the change”, was released just over a year ago; we have already made great progress on all actions.

The subject of this bill, the green vehicles duty scheme, is but one of our achievements to date. We have already mandated that all electricity retailers source 10 per cent of their power from renewable sources by 2010, rising to 15 per cent by 2020. My colleague Mr Mick Gentleman spearheaded a world-leading feed-in tariff law to allow households which generate power through solar or other renewable power technologies to receive a generous tariff when that power is fed into the grid. We are showcasing renewable energy technology, including the installation of photovoltaic cells, solar panels and wind turbines at public sites.

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