Thursday 10 December, 2015

Mr TARZIA (Hartley) (15:38): It is said that there are no bad people, only bad incentives. Time will tell whether this bill provides a good incentive or a bad incentive. Much has been said about the current government's credentials when it comes to sustainability and improvement of energy and water use, as well as environmental performance. My message to the government is: focus on what you have so far and focus on the problems you have created thus far.

What comes to mind is the plethora of problems that exist in a part of the world in my electorate which the former minister for water would be aware of—Lochiel Park. Lochiel Park was promised to be one of the best environmentally friendly and sustainable zones in South Australia, but, unfortunately, the people of Lochiel Park, after years and years, do not have the recycled water that they were promised. Many people bought land solely on the premise that they would get these sustainability features and still, under this government's watch, same government, these measures have not been delivered.

So it is a bit rich for this government to come in and want more when it cannot get these things right, time and time again after seven or eight years. There are people in my electorate who have absolutely no belief in this government when it comes to their environmental credentials. My message would be: get what is existing right before you go onto these sorts of things.

As has been put, the Local Government (Building Upgrade Agreements) Amendment Bill 2015 is part of the government's previous election commitment to drive investment in this sort of area, especially in sustainable commercial buildings through, amongst other things, the retrofitting of improved energy, water and also the environmental performance of existing commercial buildings.

I note that a number of stakeholders have been engaged in speaking about this bill, and the member for Bragg alluded to some of the concerns that exist at the moment on this bill, especially from Business SA and the Property Council of Australia (SA). Obviously Business SA has supported the bill to some extent, but they have also highlighted some flaws, and I am of the belief that they have suggested that the clause in the bill which allows for the Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995 to be overwritten be removed.

I understand that the Property Council of Australia (SA), whilst they have highlighted issues, support the bill in principle. We have suggested certain amendments in another place, and I would encourage the government to consider these because, as the member for Bragg has said, this bill can certainly be improved.

Whilst I can appreciate that the government is trying to create positive social change and environmental change through investment and through incentives, I am not sure whether this is the silver bullet and whether this is the right way to do it. It seems inefficient, there seems to be many weaknesses which have been highlighted and time will tell exactly how this bill will pan out. I encourage the government to look at these flaws—which many on this side of the chamber as well as in the other place have highlighted—before the bill progresses.