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Thursday, 24 June 2010
Page: 4240

Senator MILNE (9:58 AM) —I hope that the Greens amendments are now before senators, but in view of the changed arrangements I apologise that they have been circulated at a late stage. I move Greens amendment (1):

(1)    Page 26 (after line 20), after Part 2, insert:

Part 2A—Obligation to report annual energy use

23B  Buildings and areas of buildings to report annual energy use

         (1)    If a constitutional corporation owns a building or an area of a building that is:

              (a)    used or capable of being used as an office; and

              (b)    equal to or greater than 2,000 square metres in area;

the corporation must provide to the Secretary by 31 January in each year the information listed in subsection (2) in relation to the preceding calendar year, for inclusion in the Building Energy Efficiency Register.

Civil penalty: 1,000 penalty units.

         (2)    The information to be provided by a constitutional corporation under subsection (1) is:

              (a)    the size of the building or area of a building to which the information relates;

              (b)    the electricity consumption for the building or area of the building for the relevant calendar year;

              (c)    the natural gas consumption, if any, for the building or area of the building for the relevant calendar year;

              (d)    any other information prescribed by the regulations for the purpose of this paragraph.

We do not have a running sheet so I will read what the Greens are proposing so that senators can clearly understand it. The first Greens amendment introduces a requirement that all office buildings affected by the bill—that is, those owned by a corporation and greater than 2,000 square metres—must annually report electricity and gas usage data with the building area. This data would be included on the Building Energy Efficiency Register. This energy use data—

Senator Ronaldson —On a point of order: if it is of assistance, I know that the parliamentary secretary has these amendments. I most certainly have these amendments. They have been circulated. To save some time, I am happy for Senator Milne to assume that the opposition, and I hope I can speak for the government also, are aware of these amendments, so they will not need to be detailed.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator McGauran)—There is no point of order; that was helpful, nevertheless.

Senator MILNE —I thank Senator Ronaldson for indicating that they now have the amendments in front of them. As I was just indicating, this energy data is essential if more advanced policies to improve commercial energy efficiency are to be introduced in the future. Such policies may include but are not limited to the energy efficient building scheme, which is the one we have introduced. That has been worked through with Lend Lease, Lincolne Scott and Advanced Environmental. If the government and the opposition will not support this, how are we going to accumulate the data in order to move to a different and much more comprehensive scheme so that we can actually get some mandatory changes happening in the built environment? This is about a data collection process with the current disclosure.