Page 1022 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 21 March 2012

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MR CORBELL: Any wood heater has the potential to contribute to particulate matter in the air and contribute to air pollution. We do not take the policy position that a government subsidy should be available to replace one type of wood heater with another type of wood heater. Our position is to encourage people to replace their old wood heaters, where they are using them as the primary source of heating in their household, with a cleaner alternative such as gas. Gas is the preferred technology because it is much cleaner and it is also more energy efficient than other forms of space heating such as electric heating. I appreciate that there are a small number of households in the ACT where gas reticulation is not available but that is a small number of households. We deal with those instances on a case by case basis.

MS HUNTER: Supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Hunter.

MS HUNTER: Minister, will the government conduct mobile air quality readings in key areas to ensure that pockets of high pollution are detected and that the reported air quality readings present the most accurate picture?

MR CORBELL: The government’s position is to conduct air quality monitoring in accordance with the national environment protection measure standards.

Rural fire services—Tidbinbilla

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Minister, $1.644 million has been appropriated in the 2010-11 budget to construct a new shed for the Tidbinbilla Rural Fire Service Brigade at Birrigai. Minister, is the project on time, is the project on budget and has the scope of works for this project been changed?

MR CORBELL: There have been delays in that project. The reason for the delays in that project relate first of all to the weather. For example, there has been a significant delay in the last couple of weeks due to the very large amount of rainfall on the site. There have also been some changes to the scope of the project as a result of requirements through the development assessment process. I am pleased, however, to advise that the project is close to completion. I understand the Tidbinbilla brigade will be moving into that facility in the coming months.

MRS DUNNE: Supplementary question.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, will air conditioning be incorporated in the new shed? Was it part of the original plan, and, if not, why not?

MR CORBELL: I do not have that level of detail in front of me. I will have to take the question on notice.

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