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Tuesday, 3 March 1998
Page: 251


Mr SPEAKER —In his question to me on 26 November 1997 on energy arid environmental issues at Parliament House, the Hon. Duncan Kerr raised three matters—

1. PARLIAMENTARY DEPARTMENTS' CONTRIBUTION TOWARDS ENERGY Efficiency

In this regard Parliament House was designed to comply with `best practice' energy efficiency for commercial buildings. Lighting, air-conditioning, ventilation, cooling and heating were all designed to be of a high standard and environmentally efficient.

Energy conservation has been a key result area of the Joint House Department (the building manager) since 1988 and continues to be a key result area in the department's 1997-2000 Corporate Plan.

Since 1988 energy management initiatives in Parliament House have achieved savings of approximately $2.5 million per year on the base year of 1988/89 and have resulted in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of around 21,000 tonnes per annum.

The Joint House Department has committed itself to make further savings in energy consumption in Parliament House of 1.5 per cent per annum and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by a further 6000 tonnes over the next six years.

In 1997 the Presiding Officers, on behalf of Parliament House, signed the Greenhouse Challenge. The Greenhouse Challenge provided a valuable opportunity to inform the community of the considerable success in energy management in Parliament House over the last eight years and to provide action plans to improve on past successes. A booklet entitled `Energy Management in Parliament House' was published this year and is available to any interested persons from the Joint House Department.

2. THE SECOND ISSUE RAISED BY THE HONOURABLE MEMBER RELATED TO THE EXTERNAL REVIEW OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY PRACTICES IN PARLIAMENT HOUSE

In this regard I inform the House that the Joint House Department prepared and implemented an Environmental Management Plan, following an environmental audit in 1992 by Dames and Moore Pty Ltd, an environmental management consultancy company.

The Environmental Management Plan provided a framework for the maintenance of environmental standards at Parliament House and identified environmental issues, such as energy management, air quality, and waste management as important action areas.

A second environmental audit was commissioned in August of this year and will be completed before the end of December 1997. This audit will:

. assess compliance with Commonwealth and ACT environmental legislation;

. identify actions required to meet existing and imminent environmental legislation; and

. review the existing Environmental Management Plan and assess performance against it.

Energy audits in Parliament House have been carried out by independent organisations such as Enersonics Pty Ltd at regular intervals since 1990. They have focused on ensuring targets for energy savings are being met, and benchmarking actual performance against relevant public and private buildings, and the Property Council of Australia targets. The next energy audit is due in early 1998.

The Department publishes its achievements on environmental and energy efficiency practices in its Annual Report.

3. THE FINAL ISSUE RAISED CONCERNED THE ESTABLISHMENT OF GLASS AND ALUMINIUM RECYCLING FACILITIES IN THE CAFETERIA AND COFFEE SHOP AREAS

In response to this issue I have been informed that catering staff in the Staff and Public cafeterias clear the tables and separate recyclable waste into glass, plastic and aluminium bins, which are located in the kitchen areas. This practice has been in place since 1994.

Similar practices are in place for Members' Dining areas, the Private Dining Rooms and functions held at Parliament House.

To date the `Coffee Shop' (Aussie's) has only been recycling plastic. The Joint House Department is to conduct discussions with the licensee to see what can be done with glass, aluminium and paper recycling from this facility.

I thank the Honourable Member for his interest in these matters.