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

Ian Bushnell 15 February 2019 179
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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179 Responses to Private car users in Government sights as transport emissions continue to rise
Brad Osborne Brad Osborne 8:28 am 19 Feb 19

So I'm supposed to get 60 to 80 litres of paint, ladders and tools on a bus??? You want us to leave the car at home and walk the kids to school, what time do you start work 11.30a.m. to finish at 2p.m. to reverse the schedule? This local government needs to step into the shoes of a regular Australian and wake up!

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 11:10 am 19 Feb 19

    You are just making yourself look silly. You know it's not about work vehicles. You just had to make a point that you have to know was wrong. So, what is your reason for this?

    Daria Sigma Daria Sigma 11:50 am 19 Feb 19

    Julie is right. There are many of us for whom it's impossible or impractical to use the bus or whathaveyou. But there are also those amongst who likely could handle using public transport more often than we do, if they/we are not dealing with large equipment, school times, etc, etc.

Jenna Gray Jenna Gray 6:26 am 19 Feb 19

Canberra has a terrible public transport system - and our bikes were stolen without any comeback - if they want us not to use cars they have to focus on improving things for for people who want to use alternative transport

Janet Hurley Janet Hurley 6:14 am 19 Feb 19

The one bus service I might use, the xpresso, is going to be axed so I doubt I’ll be using the buses regularly.

Garry Drennan Garry Drennan 12:45 am 19 Feb 19

Thunderstorms offset emissions too .

Sue Foster Sue Foster 11:55 pm 18 Feb 19

All the ACT goverment officials should take public transport for a month and see if they think it's working.

Bee Mch Bee Mch 11:08 pm 18 Feb 19

Get angry or vote act liberals.

Jim Jim Jim Jim 10:45 pm 18 Feb 19

Light rail? You mean the Gungahlin train? It doesn’t service the rest of Canberra.

Stephen Esdaile Stephen Esdaile 9:19 pm 18 Feb 19

And yet there are no jobs in Gungahlin and the trip to Civic from outlying suburbs on public transport will often add two hours to a working day. No thanks.

Craig Elliott Craig Elliott 9:15 pm 18 Feb 19

Still big gaps that need plugging in the cycleway....and maintenance on existing ones

Michael Drew Michael Drew 8:54 pm 18 Feb 19

Here is a radical idea for the Labour and Green crowd, progressively triple the cost of rego under the guise it will make everything more environmentally friendly.

Reneé Nelson Reneé Nelson 8:43 pm 18 Feb 19

I have a number of reasons why I chose to drive but the best reason is it's my choice!

Brian Reilly Brian Reilly 8:25 pm 18 Feb 19

It's going to be good to be able to meet up with politicians on public transport each morning. I look forward to it the next time I'm there.

    Arthur Potter Arthur Potter 2:19 pm 20 Feb 19

    Unlikely they will give up their free car spaces at the assembly. You know, one rule for us, one rule for them

    Brian Reilly Brian Reilly 2:21 pm 20 Feb 19

    Arthur Potter agree.

Joan Cornish Joan Cornish 8:21 pm 18 Feb 19

Riding one day a week is a great start for those not doing drop offs and pick ups. It does take a change in mindset… But once you start you will never want to stop. You get fit and arrive feeling refreshed relaxed and happy!

Lisa Kramarzewski Lisa Kramarzewski 7:53 pm 18 Feb 19

Try poor bus routes for school kids (lack of dedicated routes for school children only) and the need for dedicated car seats for children 7 years and below. Many people live in Canberra without grandparents close by to do the before and after school/ daycare run

Charlie Karmenu Flask Charlie Karmenu Flask 7:50 pm 18 Feb 19

Keep the trees and we'll be fine

    Cary Elliot Johnson Cary Elliot Johnson 7:59 pm 18 Feb 19

    Charlie Carmenu Flask we are on the same level. Pity the ones in charge aren't.

Anna Buckman Anna Buckman 7:45 pm 18 Feb 19

Don’t worry a Canberra soon the price for fuel will be so expensive. Barr need to keep his public transport to be success. Because is a great idea wit City like this. 😂😂😂

Gareth Walsh Gareth Walsh 7:31 pm 18 Feb 19

Incentivise switching to an electric vehicle by reducing the registration fees! All other states and territories do it!

Adam Birgan Adam Birgan 6:58 pm 18 Feb 19

Only one border though Geoff Lever.

Cary Elliot Johnson Cary Elliot Johnson 6:30 pm 18 Feb 19

Also, dont trees and open green spaces offset carbon emissions? How many trees is the ACT Government currently culling per year versus replanting? And as for urban infill, such as the green corridor in Mawson that has been filled in? Maybe start acting reality.

Cary Elliot Johnson Cary Elliot Johnson 6:25 pm 18 Feb 19

There is a common theme here in the comments Andrew Barr ACT Chief Minister Andrew Wall MLA Joy Burch MLA Alistair Coe MLA

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