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Monday, 17 June 1996
Page: 1652


Senator STOTT DESPOJA(7.18 p.m.) —The Australian Democrats will be supporting this amendment. We are glad to see that Senator Margetts is not simply seeking to amend the preamble, which she was originally doing, and that you are also making amendments to the body of the act along the lines of ecologically sustainable development. Amendment three, like many other amendments, as Senator Margetts has pointed out, relates to ecologically sustainable housing. This is in line with longstanding Democrat policy that environmental standards should be better incorporated into public housing and public housing design.

One of the problems that we identify with the push away from the provision of public housing by capital grant and towards rent assistance, other than the long-term cost of the move, is the fact that it will make it much harder to provide environmentally sound outcomes when it comes to public housing tenants. And that of course includes some of the things that Senator Margetts has mentioned, including retrofitting and insulation.

Progress reported.