PUBLIC HOUSING —
SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEMS
53. Hon TIM CLIFFORD to the minister representing the
Minister for Housing:
I thank the minister for his
response to the question yesterday regarding solar photovoltaic systems on
public housing. I remain concerned about energy poverty and, therefore, would
like some further information and clarification from the minister regarding his
(1) Could the
minister please provide details of the energy subsidies provided by the
Department of Communities and, in particular —
(a) what is the source
of funding for the subsidy;
(b) what is the total funded amount annually of this
funding for the years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018;
(c) are the subsidies provided as a one-off
payment or ongoing payments; and
(d) what is the eligibility for this
(2) Will the
minister advise how many public housing properties do not have ceiling
insulation? Please provide this information including a breakdown of dwelling
type—for example, apartments and freestanding dwellings.
Hon STEPHEN DAWSON
I thank the
honourable member for some notice of the question.
The Department of Communities does not provide energy subsidies exclusively for
social housing tenants. The Department of Communities manages the hardship
utility grant scheme, which assists people in financial hardship who are at
risk of having their essential utilities—electricity, gas and water—disconnected.
HUGS is a grants scheme, not a subsidy. Questions regarding HUGS will need to
be referred to the Minister for Community Services.
Department of Communities is unable to provide data on the number of insulated
public housing properties. The Department of Communities owns more than 36 000
properties and information regarding insulation is held on an individual
property basis; it is not aggregated.
The Department of Communities has a climate
control policy in place and will install insulation at any public housing
property where a tenant or their partner is aged 80 years or over. Tenants
under the age of 80 years who require insulation due to a medical condition or
disability, who supply supporting medical evidence, may apply to the Department
of Communities to have insulation installed.
Insulation is installed in all new
properties built by the Department of Communities. The Department of
Communities adheres to the Australian Standards outlined in the Building Code
of Australia, part of the National Construction Code, produced and maintained
by the Australian Building Codes Board.