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

Ian Bushnell 18 February 2019 211
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 www.environment.act.gov.au.


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

9:15 pm 18 Feb 19

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

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.

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!

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.

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!

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

7:50 pm 18 Feb 19

Keep the trees and we'll be fine

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 7:31 pm 18 Feb 19

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

6:58 pm 18 Feb 19

Only one border though Geoff Lever.

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 green....in reality.

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

6:23 pm 18 Feb 19

They would have to improve public transport for that to happen. At the moment I’ll have to leave home at 5:40 so that I’m at work on time at 7:30 and walk almost for 2kms between my house, the three buses that I need to catch and my office. By car it takes 30min as opposed to 2 hours and I get to park in the staff parking.

6:18 pm 18 Feb 19

I guess if the car's out im going to be stuck with using bronwyn bishop's helicopter then.

At least we've been given the answer to why fuel is more expensive in the ACT

6:14 pm 18 Feb 19

It's going to be pretty funny watching all those pompous pollies rock up to parliament on their Melvern Star's

6:05 pm 18 Feb 19

Are the MLA's leading by example and handing in their taxpayer funded cars to catch the bus to work?

That will free up some parking spaces in Civic.

5:43 pm 18 Feb 19

For the work I do I cannot catch a bus 🤣😂 could only imagine trying to get on one with the stuff I need to carry in my car.

    5:58 pm 18 Feb 19

    And no one expects you to carry all your plumbing gear, or whatever it is, on a bus. Work vehicles are not what it is about. It is about the majority of car drivers who don't need to carry great amounts of gear to work or for work.

5:07 pm 18 Feb 19

It was taking my son almost 2 hours and 3 buses to get to school and the same to get home. 4 hours using public transport is ridiculous for Canberra.

bj_ACT 5:03 pm 18 Feb 19

I am not sure the ACT Government has properly thought through the primary and secondary implications of this policy change.

It’s worth people doing some of their own analysis on Commuting Journey data from the 2016 CENSUS (link to interactive map at bottom)

Only around 72,000 Canberrans commute to the major employment and public transport hubs of the Civic area, Woden/Phillip area, Belco, Gunghalin and Tuggeranong/Greenway.

That still leaves a helluva lot of workers who are going to other places from right across Canberra, and also those not travelling directly from Home to Work. (people have to drop Children on or off, go to exercise places, visit friends, do their shopping, medical visits etc etc).

This proposal might get some extra people off our roads and onto Public Transport. But to a much greater effect, it will financially hurt people in outer suburbs, steal free time from already time poor people, hit mothers and carers in particular and target the most vulnerable and immobile citizens of the city.

ABS 2071.0.55.001 – Census of Population and Housing: Commuting to Work

This link has percent signs in it and doesn’t work properly in Riotact
https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/2071.0.55.001~2016~Main%20Features~Journey%20to%20Work%20to%20Place%20of%20Work~60

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