Page 4614 - Week 12 - Thursday, 15 October 2009

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and make them face north. If we do not get that right from the beginning, we cannot get that one right in the future. That is one of the issues that was in the Labor-Greens agreement. We are very much hoping that the Labor Party will deliver on that very soon.

With respect to buildings, we can make some easy wins in terms of retrofitting existing buildings. We talked earlier today during questions without notice about the government’s current plans. It does not appear at this stage that they are going to make a difference to a lot of buildings.

I will tell a very quick, inspirational story from my past. Australian Ethical, my previous employer, bought a building out in Bruce and we retrofitted it to six-green-star level. When we did that, we reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 75 per cent and the cost of our refit was basically the cost that any other commercial organisation would have spent on a refit. The big change was that, instead of putting in a lift, we put in double glazing and a decent building management system.

I have not gone as far away as Europe, as the minister did, but I recently went to Melbourne for a green building conference. There were discussions about buildings which had been built to last 200 years and they were aiming to have zero net outside energy use. Most of them did not quite manage that but they went very close to it. We can do it, but we are not doing it now.

The other thing I would like to comment on is a very positive thing in the minister’s statement, when he talked about the city of Freiburg in Germany, where the green economy is a major part of their economy. I would love to see the ACT government and the ACT community move in that direction.

In conclusion, it was really great to hear the minister’s statement. I hope that greenhouse gas becomes one of the major priorities of the ACT government, whether it is via carbon budgets or whatever. I, and the rest of the Greens, and I hope the rest of the Assembly, very much want to be part of this debate, and we really want to see something happen along these lines very soon.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


Discussion of matter of public importance

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Burch): Mr Speaker has received letters from Ms Bresnan, Ms Burch, Mr Coe, Mr Doszpot, Mrs Dunne, Mr Hanson, Ms Hunter, Ms Le Couteur, Ms Porter, Mr Seselja and Mr Smyth proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, Mr Speaker has determined that the matter proposed by Ms Porter be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The importance of developing and delivering policies that advance education for all students in the ACT.

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