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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 September 2019) . . Page.. 3917 ..


to 100 per cent renewable electricity we have created some great opportunities in our region in business development, training and education. We predict that we will attract about $500 million over 20 years in low carbon investment in the ACT. We also have the Southern Hemisphere’s only accredited wind training program here, at our very own CIT, that is creating new trades opportunities for young people and producing skilled workers for the Australian industry.

The actions that we will take in the future, which are outlined in the new strategy, will also bring significant environmental, economic and social benefits. The key areas addressed in the climate change strategy are transport, natural gas, the built environment and waste. These are key areas in which we need to reduce emissions in order to reach net zero emissions by 2045. The strategy also includes extensive initiatives relating to working together with the community, ensuring that we make a just transition, and also reaching zero emissions in ACT government operations.

Not only will our actions mean that the ACT does its part in mitigating climate change; it will also ensure that our city and our community are adapted to the climate change impacts. These are impacts that will occur regardless, and in fact are already occurring. The very hot summer, the record temperatures, the severe drought, the extended bushfire seasons—these are all examples of climate change affecting our region. And they are predicted to worsen.

Let me mention just a couple of examples of how measures in this strategy are important for climate change but will also offer significant co-benefits to Canberra residents. The new living infrastructure plan contains an action to significantly increase the tree canopy or equivalent in the ACT urban environment. By 2045 we will reach a 30 per cent tree canopy cover and 30 per cent permeable surfaces in Canberra’s urban footprint. This is a commitment to ensure that we retain our bush capital legacy and also that we can tackle the issue of urban heat in a changing climate. As Ms Le Couteur touched on, trees bring many other benefits to Canberra—amenity, wildlife, a chance to interact with nature—and Canberrans really love their trees and their bush capital environment. This is an example of a co-benefit. We are responding to climate change and improving our city at the same time.

The plan to address the issue of inefficient rental properties is another good example. The poor performance, in energy terms, of rental properties has direct impacts on the lives of renters, such as health impacts from extreme heat and cold and high energy costs from heating and cooling. The plan commits the government to introducing minimum energy performance standards for rental properties from 2023, meaning a property will need to meet standards before it can be rented. Not only will this assist in lowering emissions from properties; it will deliver benefits to many in the community, including improved comfort and health outcomes and reduced energy costs for renters. Similarly, the energy efficiency improvement scheme—through the new strategy it is extended to 2030 and expanded to include new activities—has been reducing emissions in the built environment but also saving literally millions of dollars for householders, and improving health and wellbeing.

I really was genuinely shocked last week when the Canberra Liberals voted against continuing this scheme, which has brought significant benefits to Canberrans,


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