Page 3736 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 26 August 2009

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amendments proposed and to get a few things straight. Firstly, this is not—and I repeat “not”—an ill-conceived bill. Again, I repeat the strong request of my colleague Ms Le Couteur that the minister table the advice from ACTPLA and DECCEW to substantiate his claim with regard to any flaws in our original bill.

If the minister does not table the advice he continues to refer to, the community can only assume that he is misleading them with political interference. We have consulted at least a dozen experts in the field and numerous professional organisations. For Minister Barr to claim that we have not is nothing short of misleading. I can quote Dr Hugh Saddler who is a notable expert on energy in Canberra and one of a number of experts who gave us feedback and technical advice on our bill. I quote Dr Hugh Saddler:

The changes proposed by this Bill could make significant energy savings for Canberra houses. Canberra has a large proportion of houses with gas which still use electric hot water heaters. Converting these houses to efficient hot water systems when the existing system has to be replaced is the low hanging fruit, in terms of lowest cost and highest energy savings. This is particularly prevalent in rental homes and houses, and passing this Bill could significantly reduce energy bills for low income renters.

Secondly, Madam Deputy Speaker, let us get it clear what the original bill will and will not do and how these amendments will affect the intent of the original bill. The original bill will significantly reduce energy bills for low income renters and this has been supported by experts such as Dr Saddler and organisations such as ACTCOSS.

Thirdly, contrary to what Mr Barr is sprouting in the media, industry already know that change is coming and are prepared, largely because other states and territories have already made changes. Some of them even did it way back in 2006. Mr Barr’s statements in the media that claim the industry is not prepared do not reflect reality. In fact, they only expose that Mr Barr is not in touch with industry or the issues surrounding energy efficiency changes.

To make significant energy savings for the ACT community is why the Greens introduced this bill. I encourage the minister and the opposition to grasp this concept. It is about making significant energy savings. It is without a doubt that the ACT is lagging behind other states in reform on energy efficiency and the now ACT government would like the people of the ACT to wait at least a further 12 months or more for an uncertain COAG process to deliver. But when will this happen? How much longer does the government want the people of the ACT to wait for climate change and energy efficiency reform?

Why is the government seeking to confuse the people of the ACT by firstly claiming that the Greens’ bill will have a negative impact on the community and then claiming that it will implement the same reforms through the COAG process? Why is the government running these confusing lines? It is because this government is not genuine about saving. greenhouse gas emissions now. It wants to delay the decision to an uncertain time with uncertain details. Why will this government not support the Greens in giving the people of the ACT guaranteed energy savings? Because the government would not support any parts of the bill, have not brought any amendments

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