Page 3457 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

driveway positions can help encourage builders and buyers to locate garages or car parking on the southern side of their block. This will help ensure living areas are located to the north where they will receive sunlight.

These are just a few observations of how estate layout could improve design outcomes of individual houses. There is more work to do in the area of education to home owners and industry about basic design principles for homes. It surprises me as I move around our new suburbs that people do not take advantage of the opportunities available to them with good design for solar access. For example, some houses are designed that do not include living areas to the north with large windows to maximise winter sunshine. Basic principles like eaves wide enough to exclude summer sun and allow winter sun are often not applied.

Although there is a provision for integrated developments, one area that is not covered well in the current rules is how we design groups of neighbouring houses in an integrated way so that good solar access, natural ventilation, privacy and useable open space are achieved in compact blocks.

It would be good if we could have some demonstration projects in Canberra to showcase this. Many government land organisations in other states have demonstration projects to help lead industry in innovation and sustainability. It would be terrific if such projects could be developed in Canberra to work with industry to demonstrate excellence in passive solar design and construction of energy efficient homes.

The Greens would certainly welcome an approach that worked with industry to demonstrate these sorts of outcomes based on first principles without the need for a strict set of rules that can lead to undesirable outcomes and stifle innovation. There are particular challenges in established areas and special attention is needed to ensure solar access is maintained where urban infill and dual occupancies are occurring. This includes the redevelopment of Mr Fluffy blocks where there may be some great opportunities to showcase design excellence in relation to solar access.

There are also challenges in relation to multi-unit apartments. I note that in New South Wales, under the residential flat design code, a higher standard is required than in the ACT in terms of solar access and cross-ventilation. As we move towards greater urban infill in key locations such as city to the lake and along Northbourne Avenue corridor and in our town centres, it would be nice to think that the requirements for solar access in apartments are at least as good as those in other states.

In conclusion, it is timely to review the outcomes of the solar access requirements in new estates and to work with developers, estate planners and industry bodies to ensure ongoing improvement. Thus, rather than dismissing the entire solar process requirement and abandoning all improvements, as Mr Coe suggests, I will support the amendment moved by Mr Gentleman to reflect the government’s commitment to further refining the ACT’s residential and estate development codes. At the end of the day, this is about making sure that people live in homes that are comfortable and have good solar access. To throw out the entire system, as Mr Coe wishes, ignores the fact that this has achieved good outcomes in many places. Clearly, we can all identify an

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video