Page 1466 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 1 June 2022
MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee—Minister for Skills, Minister for Transport and City Services and Special Minister of State) (11.40): I rise today to talk about some of the ways that the ACT government is driving the transition to cheaper, cleaner vehicles for Australia as part of our journey towards net zero emissions by 2045.
We all know that transport is a key contributor of carbon dioxide emissions. Pre-COVID, around 18 per cent of Australia’s total CO2 emissions were created through the burning of petrol and diesel in internal combustion engines. In the ACT, transport makes up 60 per cent of all carbon dioxide emissions as our jurisdiction has already fully reduced emissions from electricity by transitioning to 100 per cent renewables. Cutting transport emissions is a crucial part of reducing our contribution to overall emissions and putting a halt to harmful global warming.
I am proud that the ACT has shown leadership in reducing our transport emissions. Not only are we leading the way in transitioning the government’s own vehicle fleets, but also we are supporting the community to transition to cleaner types of vehicles. We need to work together to get to a place where our vehicles, across the board, produce neither greenhouse gas emissions nor other pollutants that are bad for our community’s health and for the environment.
One way the ACT government has shown leadership is through our zero emissions plan for Transport Canberra and our zero emissions vehicle action plan. Under these plans, Canberra’s light rail runs on 100 per cent renewable electricity. Our first 12 zero emissions buses will hit the streets this year, and we are progressing work to deliver another 90 zero emissions buses by 2024. This will see us transition just under a quarter of our public transport fleet within the next two years. We already have 20 hydrogen powered vehicles operating in the ACT government fleet and have been progressing the transition across directorates with a clear policy for choosing zero emissions passenger vehicles, where fit for purpose.
We are also making progress in some important areas that might not be front of mind when people think about zero emissions vehicles, like the hybrid electric firefighting vehicle, appliance, that is currently being used by the ACT Emergency Services Agency. Transport Canberra and City Services has recently been undertaking trials of a zero emissions waste truck and mower, and we have also introduced a rideshare system of electric scooters in the city. The shared e-scooter scheme has recently expanded with the linking up of the Belconnen and central Canberra pilot zones. We are actively working with providers on increasing the footprint covered by e-scooters city-wide, to offer more zero emissions transport options to Canberrans.
When it comes to private vehicles, we are supporting the community to also make the transition to low and zero emissions options. According to the Electric Vehicle Council of Australia, the ACT offers the most generous package of supports and incentives for the uptake of zero emissions vehicles, which my colleague Minister Rattenbury has been a huge advocate for. We provide two years free registration to