Page 3735 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 26 August 2009
MR BARR: Thank you for your guidance, Madam Assistant Speaker. The amendments address what was a clear error in the original bill. On that basis they are worthy of support in that they do at least ensure that the correct climate zone will be applied in the legislation. I am sure we would all welcome that as being an important advance in ensuring that the legislation that we finally end up with is in some way workable.
MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (4.55): We have no objections to these amendments. I would just say, partially in response to Mr Barr, that I think there has been—
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: You are not reflecting on a previous vote?
MR SESELJA: I am not going to reflect on the vote at all.
Mr Barr: It’s good to see you even-handedly applying the standard, Madam Assistant Speaker.
MR SESELJA: I would not expect anything else. I am sure that anyone questioning that would be brought to order very quickly. Madam Assistant Speaker, the minister has not acted constructively on this. There is no doubt about it. There has been no willingness to negotiate from the government. I think there has been a relatively constructive negotiation. What we will eventually have in this bill, I think, is a good step forward, a very important step forward. It is a reflection of the very clear policy that we took to the election. We are very pleased that we could work with the Greens on this to get it right.
I would say, though, that where we disagreed with the Greens was on the need to amend it for existing dwellings. There was a comment that it was only a few hundred dollars. There was a comment across the chamber from Mr Rattenbury, I think, that it cost less than a plasma TV. It is a very different thing from a plasma TV to be replacing your hot-water system when you have got no hot water in the house. It is often a very stressful thing for a family. Many families do not have the money and I am not prepared to support a situation where we impose an added cost burden on them. It is very different from a family choosing to buy a plasma TV. This is one of the essentials of life and this is where we depart sharply from the Greens. That is why I am very pleased at what we have been able to negotiate.
But it does take negotiation. We are not going to agree with everything that is put forward by anyone in this place. There will be lots of things that we do agree on and by finding those we will sometimes get legislation that is workable. I think what we will get here is a good step forward. It is focused on where we believe it should be. It does not impose an added cost burden on low income families who are replacing hot water systems. We are very pleased that our policy will be reflected in this bill as it is going to be passed.
MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens) (4.58): I stand because I think it is time to dispense with the rhetoric around this bill and the