Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 18 September 2018) . . Page.. 3724 ..
taking lives and homes; and the extreme weather and heatwaves making our lives uncomfortable and placing health risks on the most vulnerable in our communities.
It is also the case that cities and towns are best placed to take action on climate change. Cities have traditionally been the epicentre of change, be it cultural, commercial or innovation. Our towns have always been the heart of our regions, and it is in these spaces that great opportunities lie.
Denser populations allow greener living. Recognising this, C40 is making a significant difference in improving the scale and speed of climate action through city-to-city collaboration. Here in Australia our states, local governments and cities are also taking the lead on climate change. Victorian climate and energy minister, the Hon Lily D’Ambrosio, suggested that states and territories go it alone last year when the federal government once again showed its unwillingness on climate action. In many ways, though, the states and territories already are.
South Australia and the ACT have both invested heavily in renewables and set themselves ambitious targets for emissions reductions. This is reinforced by the bill before us today. Queensland has also announced its renewable energy plan to reach 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030, which will include a publicly owned renewable energy electricity generator.
At the city level, Canberra is not alone in taking action on climate change. The City of Adelaide is aiming to be carbon neutral by 2020. Brisbane City Council achieved carbon neutral status in February 2017, the City of Sydney aims to source 50 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, and the City of Melbourne aims for zero net emissions by 2020.
In addition, one in five local councils surveyed by Beyond Zero Emissions indicated they were aiming for 100 per cent renewable energy or zero emissions. Local councils like Yackandandah, Lismore, Uralla, Newstead and Darebin all have ambitious renewable energy and emission targets in their efforts to address climate change.
The point is, it is our regional governments and our cities that lead the way on climate change action. Our federal government can engage actively in the process, and national governments all over the world have and will continue to do so. But when you come to parliament and wave around a lump of coal you render yourself irrelevant. When you underline the associated costs and contend that this makes it all too difficult, you prove yourself incompetent. And when you suggest that climate change may be beneficial as it may have led to better crop yields, you raise questions about your grasp on reality, particularly in light of the current drought.
So the ACT, like our colleagues in other states, will continue to keep on keeping on when it comes to climate action. We will hold the federal government to account for its responsibilities and we will continue to sideline it should it fail to deliver on its obligations. We continue to lead the way because we must. This bill furthers the efforts that we as a city state will make and entrenches our role as a national leader on climate change action. It moves us in the direction we must go. I commend the bill to the Assembly.