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Private car users in Government sights as transport emissions continue to rise

Ian Bushnell 15 February 2019 207
Canberra Traffic

The Government wants more Canberrans to swap cars for the bus, light rail, or bike. File photo.

The ACT Government will target private car owners in a bid to reverse rising greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector, with private car use the biggest contributor.

Overall the ACT’s greenhouse gas emissions continue to fall, as more of the Territory’s electricity comes from renewable sources. But the transport sector stands apart as the next big challenge for the Government.

The ACT’s 2017-18 Greenhouse Gas Inventory report found that the ACT’s emissions fell 14 per cent over the year, but transport emissions rose 2.3 per cent on 2016-17 levels and now accounts for 34 per cent of all emissions.

By 2020, when the ACT will be powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity, transport will be Canberra’s biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions, at more than 60 per cent.

Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury said the Government would be encouraging car users to consider other ways of getting around the city.

“The Government will focus on helping people to take sustainable modes of transport, like light rail, buses and active transport. We’re also looking to the community to work with us, to being open to trying new ways of moving around the city,” he said.

The Government is also encouraging the take-up of electric vehicles, with new charge points, and the transition of the Government fleet to ‘clean’ cars.

Mr Rattenbury said the other challenge was reducing reliance on natural gas, and eventually phasing out its use altogether. Natural gas emissions decreased by 4 per cent on 2016-17 levels, but it is still a major source of heating for many Canberrans.

“Natural gas emissions are already reducing, partly due to people switching to new highly efficient electric appliances for their home heating and cooking,” he said.

The report found a big drop in waste emissions, down 31 per cent from 2016-17, mainly due to an increase in the volume of landfill gas captured and burnt.

Electricity emissions fell 27 per cent on 2016-17 levels.

“The report shows the ACT continues to make great progress in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable electricity generation grew from 30 per cent to 49 per cent in 2017-18 as more of our wind farms came online,” Minister Rattenbury said.

He said the report showed that, with strong community support, the ACT can meet its emission goals.

The 2017-18 Greenhouse Gas Inventory is available at

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207 Responses to Private car users in Government sights as transport emissions continue to rise
Christopher Goyne Christopher Goyne 12:07 pm 18 Feb 19

Where is the electoral mandate for this Andrew

Sarah Beatty Sarah Beatty 12:18 pm 18 Feb 19

I work in the city. Live south side. Have 5 children to deliver to various places before I go to work. 40 mins after I drop them all off to get to work driving Bus, minimum 80 mins and unable to ferry my children, plus that much to get home again in the evening meaning I miss out on my family. No thank you.

Bruce Hopper Bruce Hopper 12:26 pm 18 Feb 19

Way to go Bec, might catch a bus/ tram from Queanbeyan to Mitchell, then to fyshwick to pick up paint supplies in 2030 when the tram is finished stage one! Ha friggin ha

    Rebecca Perrau Rebecca Perrau 12:53 pm 18 Feb 19

    Bruce Hopper more like 2130 haha. Its just not pratical and the buses cause more polution than cars do.

    Bruce Hopper Bruce Hopper 12:56 pm 18 Feb 19

    Buy an Audi diesel, they produce "pure" air 😎

Jessica Grace Jessica Grace 12:27 pm 18 Feb 19

Lack of proper infrastructure and overpopulation equals everyone using cars.

Matthew Boate Matthew Boate 12:33 pm 18 Feb 19

Will public transport run 24/7 to cater for everybody Who doesn't work 9-5 in the city?

Jeremy Jeremy Jeremy Jeremy 12:35 pm 18 Feb 19

Is that why I have to pay for parking

Francisco Antonio Vega Francisco Antonio Vega 12:37 pm 18 Feb 19

Public transport is a joke. If they want people to use public transport there needs to be a a massive investment to cater for our needs.

Lucho Torres Lucho Torres 12:37 pm 18 Feb 19

A bus to work takes me 1 hour. Driving takes me 20 minutes. Who will pay me for the 40 minutes extra of my time? Well 80 minutes return?

Jen Wright Jen Wright 12:43 pm 18 Feb 19

Some jobs are really hard to use public transport with.

And public transport is not yet at a level that it can be relied upon for reach and frequency.

Helene Jermolajew Helene Jermolajew 12:48 pm 18 Feb 19

And then there are the pensioners who can't afford a new car, can't afford to replace appliances and can't afford the electricity bills, let alone needing to travel to suburbs (to help with child minding ) which would mean at least 2 buses and an hour each way compared to 10-15 minutes car travel. Bureaucrats with all the conveniences of life don't think real life things through very well do they?

Brydie Kelly Brydie Kelly 12:55 pm 18 Feb 19

Hahahahahaha GTFO. Not when you have kids to drop off and it takes a ridiculous amount of time just to get from A to B.

Megan Baker-Goldsmith Megan Baker-Goldsmith 12:56 pm 18 Feb 19

That’s all well and good, but what we need is more parking around the bus interchanges.

Ie- if you live in waniassa, and drop your kids at a local day-care and school, then need to work in civic, you should be able to take your car, do your school/daycare run, then park cheaply at the Woden bus interchange and then get the bus to/from work.- with express runs and rapid transit lanes to ensure the busses get priority.

It reduces congestion and car usage, but still gives people the flexibility to do what they need.

    Ian McLeod Ian McLeod 7:12 am 20 Feb 19

    Excellent suggestion, free parking with a validated (used) trip or something.

Wade Bermingham Wade Bermingham 12:58 pm 18 Feb 19

It would be easier for me to ride a cow in to work

Sue Ellen Sue Ellen 1:02 pm 18 Feb 19

Timing a bit suss. Surely the time to look at figures is when the tram gets going and everyone who voted for it/ had access gets on it and reduces traffic congestion. Please let it be true! Oh and an end to traffic jams thanks to tram/roadworks!

Michelle Mills Michelle Mills 1:02 pm 18 Feb 19

Weston Creek to Tuggeranong takes way too long by bus

Sue Skinner Sue Skinner 1:09 pm 18 Feb 19

Would love to catch a bus from Queanbeyan in to Woden, but not prepared to pay $15 per day!

    Kerenza Brown Kerenza Brown 9:03 pm 18 Feb 19

    Sue Skinner yep. Those of us who commute from across the border have no option but our cars. Especially when you add in school drop offs/pick ups and other such activities.....

    Ian McLeod Ian McLeod 6:48 am 20 Feb 19

    That's because your state representative John Barilaro is too distracted spreading pests like destructive feral horses to bother with what people actually need, like cross border transport.

Maelinar Maelinar 1:19 pm 18 Feb 19

Where are these ‘wind farms’ that Min. Rattenbury is talking about ?

I for one am supportive of a one person transport tube that goes under LBG just like in futurama – somebody call Elon Musk quick !

Oh, and monorail. Lets get one that connects to the light rail and goes around the parliamentary triangle in a sightseeing and public servant drop off circuit. They could even make a plan and connect the southbound light rail circuit to the other side which will save them the dosh of having to build light rail through that expensive bit in the middle.

Anthony Davies Anthony Davies 1:25 pm 18 Feb 19

When there is a bus running thru every suburb on a 5-10 minute cycle to a hub (interchange) amd then 5 min buses direct to each other hub then you might expect patronage. Otherwise why waste time waiting for a bus that may not show to then trundle thru many other suburbs and multiple interchanges that takes a 15-min car trip into a 40-70min bus trip. No thanks. Convenience regularity and directness will get people onboard. But as a little territy with hogh expectations of service it would never be funded to the required level.

Jane Pearce Jane Pearce 1:30 pm 18 Feb 19

If I was relying on the public transport system (system being the operative term!!) to get my daughter and I to school and work, the day would be over before I’d even managed to reach my workplace! As it stands, by the time I’ve delivered my daughter to school in Belconnen (designated school bus is being cancelled to/from the Southside next month, even though we already have to travel by car to catch the school bus) and myself to work in Barton it’s already mid-morning. The ‘system’ needs to improve a great deal before I can rely on it to get me anywhere. I say let the ACT Government take responsibility for the carbon emissions until such time as we have a fast, efficient, reliable, safe (the bus interchanges are hideous, dangerous and crime hotspots) and affordable public transport system. Until then, I have no choice... no car, no work, no money, no food, no life! Seriously thinking of moving out of Canberra... it’s unaffordable for the average person/family.

Smashley McForrester Smashley McForrester 1:42 pm 18 Feb 19

Apparently cars account for only a small percentage of emissions. Our primary focus should be on reducing power consumption.

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