THE government says its 2018 Budget will boost the ACT’s status as Australia’s most sustainable community with new investments in electric vehicle infrastructure, stronger protection for biodiversity and the extension of popular Actsmart programs.
It says that with the ACT on track to meet the goal of being powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity in two years’ time, it was now tackling the next priority to achieve the goal of zero net emissions by 2045.
It says the Budget will strengthen community’s efforts to reduce emissions and address harmful climate change, by spending:
- $6 million to extend the ACT government’s Actsmart programs, which have helped thousands of Canberra homeowners, businesses and community groups cut their energy use and emissions, such as the Actsmart Business Energy and Water Program, the Actsmart Sustainable Home Advice service and the Actsmart Low Income Household Energy Efficiency Program,
- $661,000 to continue programs to reduce waste and increase recycling in businesses, schools and at public events and
- $456,000 to install 50 new electric vehicle charging stations at ACT government sites across Canberra. This builds on the government’s recently-released Transition to Zero Emissions Vehicles Action Plan, which will see the ACT pursue Australia’s most ambitious emissions reduction effort across the transport fleet.
The government has also allocated funds for conservation management including:
- $3.3 million for ecological conservation works as part of implementing stage 3 of the Molonglo River Reserve
- $3.1 million to protect biodiversity by reducing invasive plants, rabbits, wild dogs and feral deer in natural habitats across the ACT
- $1.6 million to support the Woodlands and Wetlands Trust to construct an ecotourism learning centre at Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary. The centre will feature a café, interactive displays, a multi-use community space and car park facilities
- $1.2 million to support land conservation management works in the Jerrabomberra Valley which hosts a number of environmental assets
- $598,000 to eradicate rabbits and hares from the expanded Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary
- $352,000 to support the Molonglo Catchment Group, Southern ACT Catchment Group and Ginninderra Catchment Group during the Commonwealth Government’s transition to new Landcare funding arrangements
- $175,000 to plant up to 5,000 more trees as part of the Murrumbidgee River corridor million trees project.