Page 1723 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 1 April 2009

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number of these homes. That is not an easy one to get to the bottom of, but I think that some of this technology potentially offers a way forward. And it goes to two issues. It goes to ensuring that our houses have the best possible energy efficiency, and it also goes to people getting value for money. There is a concern that if this is in fact the case—and this would require further investigation—some Canberra families are not getting what they pay for when it comes to insulation, whether it is a new home or an existing home. They believe they have wall insulation and perhaps only half of the home or parts of the home have wall insulation.

That goes to, I believe, a fair trade issue as well as an environmental issue, and both of those are worthy of consideration. Fundamentally, as we move forward, energy efficiency ratings are about reducing greenhouse emissions, making homes more comfortable, reducing energy use and the costs that are associated with that, and also about value for money. When people buy a five-star energy rated home, they should know that they are getting a genuinely five-star energy rated home which will be comfortable in summer and winter, which will require minimal heating and cooling and which will save them energy bills going forward. They will make economic decisions as well as environmental decisions when they purchase that home. They will budget to spend less on electricity and they may be prepared to spend more for that home as a result. These are some of the important issues that need to be looked at.

There was certainly some confusion, and I do not think all of the confusion can be sheeted home to Ms Le Couteur or the Greens. We know that there seemed to be confusion between government agencies as to who had responsibility for this. The feedback we got from the Greens was that they were getting differing accounts from one agency to another as to who had responsibility. If part of the outcome of this process is that that can be rectified, and we can make it absolutely clear which government agencies have responsibility for which issue, I think that would be a way forward.

With respect to ensuring that the discussion paper produced by the ACT Planning and Land Authority is released by the end of April, I think that is a useful way forward and it is certainly something that is worthy of our support. We do want to see this area improved and, to that end, we are happy to support the amended motion. As I say, it does not go as far as the Greens wanted it to go initially. We will see over a period of time just how effective this call is and whether the government has agreed to not very much. Certainly, with the release of a discussion paper, although I understand that the minister’s office informed us that it either had been released, from memory, or that it was going to be released—

Mr Barr: It is going to be, in April.

MR SESELJA: It was going to be anyway, so this is an action that apparently they were going to take, regardless of whether this motion went through.

The amendment that I moved to Ms Le Couteur’s original motion was about having some form of manageable audit, and it is important that we do this. We looked at what the Greens had put forward with the five per cent figure and we believed that there would be significant costs related to that and that they had not been quantified, so we

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