Page 3181 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 18 August 2009

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If, however, you have bought into a multi-unit development which faces south, does not have good or sufficient insulation or sufficient opportunities for cross-ventilation or any number of potential issues, you are probably in a position where there is actually nothing you can do it about it. You are constrained by the building envelope; you are constrained by the body corporate; and you will just have to suffer the consequences of the poor building design for the rest of your time there.

Given this, it is really important to ensure that multi-unit development is at least as energy efficient as a single residence. My recommendation would actually make it slightly higher, although I would point out that what I am asking for is, in fact, consistent with the ACT Labor-Greens parliamentary agreement and COAG’s proposals for the future.

My recommendation is that the minimum energy efficiency rating for RZ5 should be raised to five stars, with an average of six stars. If the Building Code of Australia is later changed to give a higher minimum for single residences then this should also apply to RZ5. This should also apply to the other multi-unit codes, RZ2, RZ3 and RZ4.

This is probably an issue, as I should have mentioned before. As summers are getting warmer in Canberra and the rest of Australia, people will find needs for cooling and air conditioning. The people who are living in the multi-unit developments in Burnie Court are likely to be facing Melrose Drive, which is a six-lane highway. They are probably going to have fixed windows. They will not build a passive building. They will be forced to rely on air conditioning. We have a duty to ensure that they live in well-designed buildings. I think it is a pity that the majority of the committee did not also see that as a requirement.

Finally, we have spoken a lot about densities around town centres. I really would like to put on the record that the ACT Greens strongly support increasing density around town centres. I will read out recommendation I, my last recommendation:

That ACTPLA, LDA and ACT Housing improve practices to increase densities around town centres in accordance with the Spatial Plan. Increased densities should be done as part of a robust, high quality urban design process that is subject to public consultation and debate and results in site specific building envelope controls being incorporated into a territory plan precinct code.

I thank you for listening to the recommendations.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Climate Change, Environment and Water—Standing Committee

Statement by chair

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens): Pursuant to standing order 246A, I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Climate Change, Environment and Water.

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