Page 2429 - Week 06 - Thursday, 24 June 2010

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MR SPEAKER: Ms Burch, there was a specific question.

Mr Seselja: She has just got a note that says “wrong answer”.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Let us hear the minister answer the question.

MS BURCH: New housing stock is meeting six-star energy ratings and I was asked about that. It was raised earlier in the week. If you have clients or know of families that are experiencing difficulties, ask them to contact their housing manager or, indeed, contact me.

My understanding is that new stock is six-star energy rated. We are spending $20 million on energy efficiencies to upgrade our public housing stock. Some of our housing stock is quite old and, indeed, it is recognised that we need to upgrade its energy efficiency, which is why that money is being invested.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Bresnan, do you have a supplementary?

MS BRESNAN: I do, thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, why is it that public housing tenants make up some 75 per cent of the ACAT’s hearings in regard to unpaid energy bills?

MS BURCH: I would imagine that 70 per cent of ACAT not paying energy bills is something that I can explore further within Housing ACT. I cannot validate or otherwise those numbers. I am happy to take that on notice and come back to the member.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary?

MS HUNTER: Thank you. Minister, is the government progressing the recommendations that were made by the Conservation Council in 2008 that there be a “curtain library” for public housing tenants for at least pelmets and curtain rails in all ACT housing properties?

MS BURCH: I will have to get advice on the details of what part of our energy efficiency measures it includes. Our energy efficiency measures are carried out on properties. There have been audits and improvements across a range of properties. Appliances have been changed. Ceiling insulation—

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Minister Burch, the question was quite specific.

MS BURCH: I said at the beginning that I would take advice on the specific details, given that I have outlined a number of initiatives on energy efficiency. I am happy to leave it there.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Coe, a supplementary question?

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