“There are inconsistencies galore in this package, with good ideas in one aspect being ignored in others. The Department of Climate Change was not properly consulted in the design, exposing Rudd’s supposed whole-of-Government approach as non-existent.
“Building energy guzzling homes and school buildings now would only mean a new cash injection will be necessary a few years down the track to bring them up to scratch.
“It is vitally important that new housing helps keep energy and transport bills down, instead of locking Australia’s poorest people into years of energy poverty and high transport costs.
“It is ridiculous that the only cycleways that can be funded from this package are those directly connected to other projects such as more roads!
“Experience from around the world shows that students in green schools learn better. This is a tremendous opportunity to give our students a better go as well as helping the environment and economy.”
Yesterday, COAG agreed to mandate six star energy efficiency in all new homes by 2010. While this will leave Australia far behind much of Europe and America, it is a positive step. However, it could also lead to greater inequity if this package is left unamended.
“How much sense does it make to build the kind of energy guzzling homes for Australia’s needy this year which will be against building regulations next year?
“The Government should be using this package to put community housing ahead of the game in Australia, building the most energy and water efficient homes possible for those who can least afford to pay the bills,” Senator Milne concluded.