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$4 million climate change fund announced in ACT mid-year Budget

Dominic Giannini 14 February 2020 57
Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury

Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury has announced a $4 million climate change action fund. Photo: File.

The ACT Government has announced an extra $4 million over the next four years to help reduce the Territory’s carbon emissions as it works towards its net zero emissions by 2045 target.

The money will go towards implementing a minimum energy efficiency standard for rental properties by 2022-23, installing electric vehicle charging stations and funding a dedicated climate change community officer.

The commitments were announced in the ACT Government’s mid-year Budget, released on Thursday, with $757,000 being allocated to improving the energy efficiency of rental properties.

Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury said landlords had a moral responsibility to ensure that their tenants were living in decent houses and have access to a good quality of life.

“What we want to do is ensure that rental properties actually perform better,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“At the moment in Canberra, too many rental properties are freezing cold in the winter and boiling hot in the summer and they have higher energy bills because they have poor insulation and poor performance standards.

“The reality is to upgrade many of these properties, you are looking at only a couple of thousand dollars, and for landlords those expenses are tax-deductible.”

However, Minister Rattenbury insisted that renters would not bear the brunt of the costs.

“There are requirements under the Residential Tenancies Act about the amount that landlords can increase the rent each year, there are limits on that, so that would play out in this space,” he said.

“The other thing is that this is a transition over a couple of years, so landlords can claim to have this work done over a period of time, they do not have to fork it all out in one go.”

Just over $1 million will be spent on installing more electric vehicle charging stations to help with the government’s promise to transition all of its government cars to zero-emission vehicles by the end of next year.

“The government has a commitment to move all of our government fleet to zero-emission vehicles over the next couple of years, so we need to put these charging stations in our government offices around the city to support our government vehicle fleet,” he said.

Electric vehicles

The ACT Government is aiming to have net-zero emissions from government vehicles by the end of 2021. Photo: File.

Mr Rattenbury cited the use of electric vehicles by community nurses to highlight the practicality of electric cars as a day-to-day transport option.

“Community nurses hop in a car and go around a series of home-based appointments all day. They drive around all day, put the car back in the garage at the government building at the end of the day’s work, and they plug it into the wall and come back the next morning and it is ready to go again.

“The practical reality for them is that electric vehicles are absolutely doing the job that they need them to do.”

There will also be $574,000 for a dedicated climate change community liaison officer who will work with community organisations on a variety of projects, including helping them navigate the bureaucratic processes involved in applying for grants.

The ACT Government will also spend $97,000 to help introduce the changes outlined in the living infrastructure plan, which includes measures like ensuring that 30 per cent of Canberra’s urban environment will be covered by a tree canopy by 2045.

The money will allow the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate to have the appropriate resources required to change a variety of planning codes and rules to bring them in line with the infrastructure plan.

The fund will also provide $848,000 for the delivery of the new Sustainable Energy Policy and develop a strategy to ensure that the capital’s energy supply is affordable, reliable and sustainable.

“The previous Sustainable Energy Policy was very much focused on transitioning the ACT to 100 per cent renewable electricity. Having now achieved that goal, the question is, what next?

“That will be things like how do we ensure those on low incomes are best protected and have affordable energy bills going forward.

“We will need to look at the issues of natural gas, how do we phase natural gas out of our system because gas will be 22 per cent of our emissions going forward. Also, we will be looking at issues like: will hydrogen play a significant role in our future energy mix?

“They are the sort of questions being considered in the next Sustainable Energy Policy.”

The funding for climate change action came after the government announced an extra $60 million injection for emergency services at Canberra Hospital to keep up with demand and almost $9 million for WorkSafe ACT over the next four years.


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57 Responses to $4 million climate change fund announced in ACT mid-year Budget
Steve Wood Steve Wood 5:16 pm 18 Feb 20

Reduce the amount of MLA's that will reduce our carbon emissions by 60%

Denise Bourke Denise Bourke 12:49 am 18 Feb 20

sustainable usage means that we buy tech 2nd hand .... when an EU city updates their fleet then buy it ... don't make ACT a chucker city by buying the latest tech brand new

Capital Retro Capital Retro 11:19 am 17 Feb 20

“…….freezing cold in the winter and boiling hot in the summer ……..”

It is totally misleading to suggest ice will form and water will boil in a house in Canberra.

Aaron Horton Aaron Horton 9:13 pm 16 Feb 20

Money will not change the weather unless u can show me that u can control the weather don’t waste the money there are other things we should focus on

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 8:10 pm 16 Feb 20

“We will need to look at the issues of natural gas, how do we phase natural gas out of our system because gas will be 22 per cent of our emissions going forward. Also, we will be looking at issues like: will hydrogen play a significant role in our future energy mix?

“They are the sort of questions being considered in the next Sustainable Energy Policy.”

The BIG question is “what is the ACT’s Plan B if other jurisdictions, particularly NSW, take the same approach, and we’re left with only solar panels, wind turbines and dinky little batteries for all of our power needs?”

We can get away with the posturing now, because the ACT is like a solar-powered yurt, occupied by not-quite-grown-up kids, located in mum and dad’s backyard, and with a power lead running to the main house for when the sun isn’t shining.

No amount of artful verbiage about the total quantity of renewable power we buy vs. what we consume will explain exactly what we rely on when renewables are not producing, and battery capacity has been exhausted.

As Alan Finkel made clear at the Press Club earlier this week, hydrogen is still a long way off as a replacement fuel.

Peter Mackay Peter Mackay 5:39 pm 16 Feb 20

Perhaps a zero-net Shayne Rattenbury policy would be better? The ACT's emissions are hardly responsible for the ACT's problems, but wonky policies are a far better target.

Scottie Roberto Avelia Scottie Roberto Avelia 3:42 pm 16 Feb 20

Its already a MASSIVE Deficit budget from paying off Labor Developers to build rubbish housing, so whats a few more millions of taxpayers money wasted...?

Ian McTaggart Ian McTaggart 12:55 pm 16 Feb 20

Could we please see the duty statement and pay grade for the Climate Change Liaison Officer?

Stacey Ingram Stacey Ingram 10:31 am 16 Feb 20

Energy efficiency for rentals, yet you care not one iota about the inefficiency of your public housing properties!

Many aren't insulated well, sealed properly, or have adequate cost effective heating/cooling, and you won't provide avenues to assist tenants with the cost of installing solar.

The positive impact of improving these dwellings would be felt across ALL communities, and yet crickets.

The vulnerable and disadvantaged want a sustainable future too.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 2:45 pm 16 Feb 20

    Stacey Ingram speaking of solar my mum lives in a govie house that has solar hot water. Recently she has had some issues with it and they have said next time it plays up they will replace the solar hot water with an electric heater.

Lawrie Smith Lawrie Smith 10:23 am 16 Feb 20

How much will go into Cayman Islands bank accounts of politicians?

    Phill Charles Phill Charles 11:25 am 16 Feb 20

    Lawrie Smith by the time it passes through their mates hands they award it to and they get their kickback I’d reckon about 40% unless they own the company that is awarded control of it and then it would be the majority of it.

Jim Hosie Jim Hosie 10:14 am 16 Feb 20

Waste of money on bureaucracy. All lip service. $4 million buys an awful lot of seedlings to lock up carbon or perform clear environmental works.

rationalobserver rationalobserver 9:47 am 16 Feb 20

Hmm. Landlord gets hit with these mandated capital improvement demands which despite what Rattenbery claims is not a tax deduction.
Land lord re-evaluates the return on investment equation of the rental property.
Do they;
a) divert funds set aside for other maintenance and repairs and do the greens bidding, or
b) terminate the lease ASAP and find a new tenant so they aren’t trapped by the cap on rental increases, or
c) liquidate the rental property all together and seek more favourable investment opportunities interstate.

So glad I’m neither a tenant nor a landlord any more.

Michael Werner Michael Werner 9:20 am 16 Feb 20

A pack of deluded politicians keeping the minorities happy.

The last person leaving in 2045 turn the lights out if they aren’t already.

    Mark Dawson Mark Dawson 10:03 am 16 Feb 20

    How is a clean environment a minority thing?

    Michael Werner Michael Werner 12:33 pm 16 Feb 20

    Rob Thomas " CLIMATE CHANGE"

    During the 7 year period from 1896 to 1903, before the vast land clearing, Industrial Revolution, before the first world war, and the second world war, before the millions of cars were on the road and the vast amount of coal mining to date, and the Green Party, I was looking at this period and here are some of the facts from the period.

    . Rainfall for this period was 46% below the previous wet period

    .Federation Drought, Heatwaves, Bush Fires and Dust storms, associated with 40% livestock losses in Queensland.

    .Livestock numbers in Queensland reduced from 6.5 million to 2.5.million (cattle), and from 19 million to 7 million ( sheep).

    .Western New South Wales, impacted by soil erosion, and woody weed infestation (1898-1899).

    .Properties in the Western New South Wales were abandoned with collapse in carrying capacity, resulting in the Royal Commission investigating financial stress in the Western Division.

    .Sir Sydney Kidman acquired properties, and nearly lost all by 1901, due to severity and wide spread nature of this drought.

    .Tropical Cyclone Mahina struck Bathurst Bay ( Cape York) on the 4th March 1899, the surrounding region suffered a massive storm surge from the category 5 system, killing over 400 people - the largest death toll of any national disaster in Australian History.

    Reports recorded that grass was ripped from the ground on the islands offshore and that fish and dolphins were left in trees,15 metres above sea level

    This all happened before the new catch cry of "GLOBAL WARMING", and "CATASTROPHIC".

    The words they use now to frighten the public.

    Puppet Palaszczuk should look back at previous records to see what has happened in years gone by, and order an enquiry into the recent fires in National Parks, she would then find it is the incompetence of National Parks management. Instead of making wild statements, GLOBAL WARMING.!

    Reference- QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT

    ECOSCIENCES PRECINCT

    Web: www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au

    I sympathise with the devastation that farmers and public have endured over the past few years. Is this a matter of history repeating it's self.

    Camm Kelly Camm Kelly 1:31 pm 16 Feb 20

    Michael Werner industrial revolution started in the mid 18th century mate.

    Also one cherry picked fact does not change outright trends or consensus

Herman Riet Herman Riet 8:11 am 16 Feb 20

We can start by putting buses in the south back on old timetable. It will reduce carbon emissions - reduce number if buses travelling with no passengers, people driving to work as the new system takes 1hr to get to work, reduce driving to local shopping centers to get the R bus

Brett Downing Brett Downing 7:53 am 16 Feb 20

Why did the budget blow out by 200 million! Oh sorry that’s right climate change so we better put another 4mill towards another greenie job to save the world

    Rob Thomas Rob Thomas 12:14 pm 16 Feb 20

    Brett Downing yes..... That sounds like a very common sense idea.

    Spending 4 million to lessen the impacts of climate change that's already cost us 100s millions.

    Sorry were you trying to criticise this?

Monty Ki Monty Ki 7:29 am 16 Feb 20

Good. I'm glad to hear some people in government are taking some action to mitigate climate change. Kudos to the Greens. Leading the way again. 💚

Gabi Kuta Gabi Kuta 5:58 am 16 Feb 20

For those complaining about tax hikes or whatever, that's the point. To pay a little more now so we're not paying a lot more later.

Because what do you think is going to happen to those cities that haven't made the change when coal and oil is no longer an option?

Flynn Dovey Flynn Dovey 2:02 am 16 Feb 20

Kate- note the position!

Wayne Lutter Wayne Lutter 12:20 am 16 Feb 20

Wow wouldn't that money help the already ailing ACT Health system

    Margaret Freemantle Margaret Freemantle 1:49 am 16 Feb 20

    Wayne Lutter health depends on a cleaner planet

    Gabi Kuta Gabi Kuta 5:59 am 16 Feb 20

    Margaret Freemantle 100%

    Michael Percy Michael Percy 9:02 am 16 Feb 20

    hahahahahaha - 4 million. Big whoop. Most of that will go on the wage fo that individual alone. I am sure it will put a lot of charging stations in too. Tokenism at its best.

    Wayne Lutter Wayne Lutter 10:32 am 16 Feb 20

    Matt Mison it’s still the worse Hospital system in the country and what about the education report 2 weeks ago absolutely disgraceful

Daniel Evans Daniel Evans 10:35 pm 15 Feb 20

Sounds like they are just making it more harder for the renters, already to much regulation and taxes and crap that has given the ACT some of the highest rental prices in the country

    Camm Kelly Camm Kelly 1:29 pm 16 Feb 20

    Daniel Evans considering the summer we just went thru, energy efficiency is a health concern now

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