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Environment

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The Youth Coalition asked parties and independent candidates about their policies on environment. We asked:
- What will you do to address environmental concerns in the ACT? 

The full responses we received from parties and independent candidates are below. 
Click here to download the short snapshot of their policies on environment.

ACT Greens

We all want a clean and safe world for our future and that means preventing the worst impacts of climate change. Extreme weather, hotter summers and bushfires are already hurting Canberra. 
 
Transitioning to clean energy is the key to unlocking our economic potential and combating global warming. Charting a course for a more confident, prosperous and healthy future needs much more than empty rhetoric – it needs real courage and vision.
 
Since the Greens gained the balance of power in 2008, we've secured support for climate action and turned Canberra into a world leader - we're already on track for our 100% renewable electricity target, and renewable energy-related jobs have grown in the ACT have grown twelve times faster than the national average.
 
We're also committed to protecting the biodiversity that we have left, and managing our parks and reserves properly. Our national park and nature reserves are a huge asset to our city, and are widely used by the community, for walking, cycling, and socialising.
 
We've used our time in government to get more funding to enhance biodiversity in Canberra’s woodlands, parks and nature reserve. That includes funding for new park rangers, restoration work, and ParkCare groups who provide such a valuable role in looking after Canberra Nature Park.
 
We're proud of everything we’ve achieved to make Canberra an environmental leader – and at this election, we’ll be fighting to protect that progress.
 

ACT Labor

Canberra is a world leader in responding to global warming and caring for the environment. Over recent years, the ACT Labor Government has taken huge steps to addressing environmental concerns and it remains one of our biggest priorities.

We have committed to Canberra having 100% renewable energy by 2020. We are introducing new initiatives to protect our unique natural environment by improving water quality, protecting local wildlife and building our new suburbs in an environmentally sustainable way.

We are helping households move to using solar energy through our grants program, and we are constructing a new wetland to improve the water quality in Tuggeranong Pond, Lake Tuggeranong and downstream in the Murrumbidgee River.

Canberra is really lucky to have its famous ‘bush capital’ ecosystem, and I want to make sure we’re doing all we can to protect this. This year we are providing $1.7 million to help protect our local wildlife.

ACT Liberals 

The Canberra Liberals are committed to safeguarding our environment for future generations of Canberrans. We will reduce litter, ensure our natural spaces remain pristine and adequately control and manage weeds in the ACT. We will protect our native species and use evidence-based policies to do this. Our environment policy will benefit all Canberrans. More information about our plan to look after our environment and address environmental concerns in the ACT will be released in the coming months. 

Indepedent Candidates 

Joel McKay, Independent Candidate for Brindabella

The ACT Government has recently announced that Canberra will be fully powered by renewable energy in 2020. While this announcement has been lauded as a win for the environment, I am concerned about the average $290 increase to electricity bills.
Canberra residents have been forced to swallow ridiculous rate increases since 2012, which have left many middle to low income earners struggling with the costs of living. I believe the Government should be helping people to reduce their electricity and water bills, while at the same time utilising renewable energy.

Fellow independent candidate Andrew Dewson, has announced an Eco Housing Fund as part of his election campaign. I believe this is a good idea. The ACT Government could provide low and middle income earners an opportunity to access low interest rate loans, which can only be used to purchase energy efficient and water saving technologies.

The scheme would allow households to purchase items like solar panels, water tanks, solar hot water systems, and roof/wall insulation. Not only would people be able to reduce their utility bills, the boost to local businesses in the renewable energy industry is another benefit.

I think the Government could also explore options to reduce illegal dumping in Canberra. Residents pay a significant amount of rates to the Government, yet we are charged costly tip fees. I believe households should be provided with an annual free tip pass.

I also support green bins in Canberra. In 2011, the ACT Government rejected the idea of a green bin as the service would cost $20 million a year. Given we have been slugged with massive rate rises since 2012, I believe the Government could easily absorb the cost of a green bin service and provide ratepayers with some value for money.

 

The above information was provided by the parties and/or candidates listed, and authorised for publication on this website by Emma Robertson, Youth Coalition of the ACT