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Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Page: 5646


Mr OAKESHOTT (1:12 PM) —My question follows on from the home insulation question with regard to broader policy direction. I am concerned that on the mid-North Coast, as an area that did not put in a lot of foil insulation, if any at all, we are now missing out on home sustainability policy funding generally. I would like to hear from the minister clearly whether, under the home sustainability banner, home insulation programs for the future are dead or whether there are still opportunities for regions such as the mid-North Coast to engage in a positive way rather than it being about audits or cleaning up decisions taken in the past—that is, whether there are positive programs the mid-North Coast can be involved with.

Likewise, the Green Loans Program: there was tremendous uptake on the mid-North Coast. As far as a cost to government, it was not that costly to get people engaged on the home sustainability issue. Yet we are once again seemingly dealing with the death of a home sustainability program rather than cleaning up certain aspects of it to make it a better program for the future. I am concerned, in all the political debate, that we are seeing home sustainability go out the window when, as a demand-side program, it is a critical contribution and therefore a necessary one if we are going to be serious about tackling some of these issues. I want to hear from you as the minister where you see forward policy in a positive sense, not just cleaning up certain issues from the past.