Page 1652 - Week 04 - Thursday, 7 April 2011

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(2) Does ACTEW have a system to receive (a) satellite warnings of solar flares and (b) long-range forecasts on the probability of magnetic disturbances.

(3) What safeguards are in place to prevent GICs interrupting electricity supply in the ACT in the event of a significant solar flare.

Mr Corbell: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) I am advised that transmission lines need to be very long for there to be substantial impacts from GICs. Compared to other jurisdictions, the ACT has a small, compact network and therefore the impact from a GIC event on the ACT’s network infrastructure would be relatively minor compared to that experienced by other jurisdictions. The Territory could, however, be affected by impacts on NSW transmission networks. TransGrid, the operator of NSW’s electricity transmission network, has Corporate and Regional Emergency Management Plans that are tested regularly through simulations of emergency incidents.

(2) ActewAGL is the only electricity network business operating in the ACT. I am advised that ActewAGL monitors magnetic storms through specialised internet sites and receives email alerts concerning solar activities directly from NASA.

(3) ActewAGL tests an emergency plan each year that is approved by the ACT Planning and Land Authority. These exercises are part of National Electricity Market emergency management arrangements and aim to ensure that the emergency management system works effectively. Testing sometimes involves the participation of other parties such as the Australian Energy Market Operator and the Department of the Environment, Climate Change, Energy and Water.

Housing—ceiling insulation
(Question No 1598)

Ms Le Couteur asked the Minister for Planning, upon notice, on 10 March 2011:

(1) When (a) building certifiers and (b) auditors of energy assessments inspect a site, is there a requirement for them to go into the ceiling space to ensure that insulation has been correctly laid across the whole ceiling and (i) not just put in a pile in the ceiling cavity or (ii) is not being used within 400mm of a halogen downlight.

(2) What reporting is required on the issues referred to in part (1).

Mr Barr: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) There are a number of stages of construction that may be inspected during the building process. Not all of these inspections relate to energy efficiency or are made at a stage where installation of insulation has occurred. It is a general requirement that building certifiers ensure that a building is compliant with all relevant building regulations, including those that relate to energy efficiency and the installation of insulation. The regulations do not list all individual sub-regulations or building elements that must be checked on final inspection.

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