Page 1284 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 25 March 2009

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where some of this sits. We are getting JACS and ACTPLA giving seemingly conflicting versions, and I know the Greens have had some trouble finding out exactly who is the agency responsible. We believe the Department of the Environment, Climate Change, Energy and Water should actually be tasked with providing this audit function. We believe that is a better way to go.

There is considerable potential expense here, and we need to take that into account. We should not be agreeing to motions that are going to cost government money where we cannot even really quantify that cost. That is a particular concern we have with it. So we believe a better way to go would be for this discussion paper to be released. We believe that there is a role for an audit function to make sure these things are working and that this should be part of a broader discussion about energy efficiency ratings, how they are working and how they can actually be improved and looking at all of the issues that go with that.

Getting back to the beginning of the issue, there is no doubt that having homes with proper energy efficiency, whether that is older homes that are retrofitted or whether that is new homes, is critically important not just for the purposes of lowering emissions but also for the many other benefits that we see. By doing this properly, we see homes which are far more comfortable to live in and which cost much less to run. They are two of the critical things, and that is one of the reasons why we took to the election a plan to roll out insulation in public houses and homes owned by people on low incomes, because it has that triple benefit. It has the benefit of lowering energy costs; it has the benefit of making homes more comfortable to live in; and, of course, it has the very important benefit of lowering emissions.

So, in summary, we will not object to debate on this motion being adjourned. We are happy to take the briefings from the minister’s staff and/or the relevant public servants. We would be unlikely, though, when it comes back to support most of the second part of Ms Le Couteur’s motion as it is currently drafted. I have had discussions with Ms Le Couteur’s office, and there are some parts of it, in particular in relation to the energy efficiency software and looking at issues around that, where, if we can get the wording right after our briefings, we may be prepared to support part of that. But the five per cent target for auditing the dwellings we believe needs to be substantiated first. Work would need to be done to demonstrate that that is an effective use of taxpayers’ money and that it is actually something that is doable and is worth while doing.

We are happy to get the briefings; we are happy for the debate to be adjourned, if someone will move it in a moment. We look forward to finalising discussions after we have had sufficient briefings. I will formally move my amendment now, and we can come back to discuss the motion as a whole in the context of this amendment. I move:

Omit all words after “should” in paragraph (2), substitute:

“(a) publicly release the energy rating discussion paper published by the ACT Planning and Land Authority last year; and

(b) ensure the Department for Environment, Climate Change, Water and Energy undertakes an annual review of the ACT Planning and Land

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