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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 22 February 2018) . . Page.. 633 ..

The office added a fifth status category to those requested in the terms of reference, a category called “of concern”. The report identifies two actions as being of concern—action 3, energy efficiency information to tenants, and action 5, community engagement strategy. The office has provided suggestions on how these actions may be modified to address the issues of energy efficiency in rental homes and communication between the ACT government and members of the community whom we serve. We will consider these suggestions in the development of our climate change policies.

The government acknowledges the findings of the audit and supports the continual improvement of policy development and implementation to ensure that the ACT maintains its momentum and remains at the leading edge of policy for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Of the report’s 17 recommendations, the government agrees to 16 and notes one. I will highlight some of the recommendations and the government’s response.

The report notes that transport is the biggest climate change mitigation challenge for the territory and it recommends significant commitment to policy development, action and targets to ensure the ACT continues its reputation as a climate change policy leader and driver of change. The government agrees with this recommendation. Our emissions modelling to 2050 demonstrates the major contribution of transport emissions and shows that a reduction requires adjustments to mode share trends, vehicle occupancy, trip length and the fuel type of our transport network. The government raised this issue with the community in its ACT climate strategy to a net zero emissions territory discussion paper December 2017, with a view to including mitigation measures to reduce emissions from transport in the next climate strategy for the ACT. The government, through Minister Fitzharris, is also developing the next transport for Canberra strategy concurrently.

The government agrees with the recommendation that addressing and adapting to climate change is a key priority for how we deliver services in the territory, and this needs to be backed up with consistent and significant funding.

The government also agrees with the commissioner’s finding that community engagement in discussions about climate change policy is fundamental to effective interventions in respect of mitigation and adaptation. Public consultation is currently underway in the development of our next climate change strategy. Further to this, I have established a climate change ministerial advisory group as an additional way for community organisations and businesses to provide me with direct input from their sectors and member groups as the climate change pathway to zero net emissions policy is developed. The members of this group will also be another way for the government to communicate with their respective organisations.

I am pleased to also report that changes are already underway within my directorate to better document our greenhouse gas accounting processes in response to several of the recommendations of this report.

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