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

Ian Bushnell 15 February 2019 170
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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170 Responses to Private car users in Government sights as transport emissions continue to rise
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Bee Haych Bee Haych 11:08 pm 18 Feb 19

Get angry or vote act liberals.

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.

Garry Drennan Garry Drennan 12:45 am 19 Feb 19

Thunderstorms offset emissions too .

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.

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

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.

Ceit Woodward Ceit Woodward 10:54 am 19 Feb 19

Or... increase the uptake of EV's through government rebates. But it's not about emissions is it... it's about money.

Chris Todd Chris Todd 12:36 pm 19 Feb 19

More electric vehicle charge points and tax exemption would see those vehicles taken up at a much higher rate

Rob Chalmers Rob Chalmers 8:31 pm 19 Feb 19

People do more than go to and from work. Want to go down the coast for the weekend, maybe surfing or camping you not going to catch a bus. In Canberra THE CAR IS KING. Will be for the next hundred years.

Tim Thornley Tim Thornley 10:30 pm 19 Feb 19

Why are so many people here talking about taking kids to schhol? When I was a kid i took myself. Walked to the bus and that when to my school. I had no issues.

Anna Gabriel Anna Gabriel 10:16 pm 21 Feb 19

Why take public transport in this city when a 15min car trip equals to a 45min -hour bus trip and 2 buses? I think I know which one I would take, even with paid parking. The public transport in this city is ridiculous. -Have less connections, less waiting time in-between buses if route must have a connection, more regular buses, everywhere not just the Rapids that finish at the malls, more bus routes so they don’t have to weave around as much, even more free/cheap parking near interchanges would help (then you don’t have to travel 5 mins by bus only to be forced off to wait another 15 mins or more for next bus) and make the bus trip closer to 20-30mins in length to help it match more closely to a 15 min car trip, then I may reconsider.

Garry Peadon Garry Peadon 6:54 am 22 Feb 19

Light rail 😂😂

Thomas Hoffman Thomas Hoffman 7:53 am 22 Feb 19

Canberra is too spread out, and has too few customers, so public transport is always going to be a tough business case. To get people out of cars is going to require big, bold thinking and radical ideas- when parking is max $12 a day and the bus is $10, no one will chose this. So half the bus fare. Or better yet, make it free.

Cycling reduces congestion without having to spend big on infrastructure - so why not provide secure bike parking and a coffee voucher to those who use it? This will reduce congestion and can help support local business.

    Adrian Jay Adrian Jay 9:45 am 22 Feb 19

    Thomas Hoffman sounds like communist Victorian thinking to me! We don’t take kindly to such reasoned thinking around these parts - get back to pinko Melbourne!

    Reneé Nelson Reneé Nelson 6:01 pm 23 Feb 19

    I still would not catch public transport no matter the price because... there is none for me! And I have kids I need to move around!

    Thomas Hoffman Thomas Hoffman 6:15 pm 23 Feb 19

    Reneé Nelson and no one is forcing you to- good public transport benefits you. Reduced congestion, more parking availability

    Reneé Nelson Reneé Nelson 6:16 pm 23 Feb 19

    I bet they just raise the price of parking... again...

Gordon Wood Gordon Wood 1:31 pm 22 Feb 19

Oh no here comes greater registration cost!

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 2:15 pm 22 Feb 19

    It would be better to have a congestion tax, rather than slug the occasional car used the same as the person who uses their car everyday. That would do more to encourage people to leave their car at home and take the bus, cycle, or walk to work (or combination), than increase registration and then people say I might as well drive; I'm paying enough in registration; need to make it worth it.

    Gordon Wood Gordon Wood 2:23 pm 22 Feb 19

    Julie Macklin lower registration costs and congestion tolls on major roads. I’d be happy with that as I do more driving in Sydney than Canberra

Gordon Wood Gordon Wood 2:13 pm 22 Feb 19

What we need is a teleportation system run on green power. stargate/Star Trek not the fly style please!

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