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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 22 April 2021) . . Page.. 1051 ..


achievement is tinged with some sadness. Due to the way COVID-19 impacted the ACT, transport emissions in 2020 fell significantly, leading us to achieve around a 45 per cent emissions reduction.

We know that, as we recover, these transport emissions may well rise again. It does seem likely, because 2020 was, as we all know, an exceptional year. It is important to note that whilst there was a 45 per cent reduction, it probably is not a true 45 per cent reduction. I think the true figure is around 40 per cent, which was the goal. We now know that transport emissions account for around 60 per cent of our total emissions, so we are sharpening our focus on reducing emissions in this sector. We will continue to promote public transport and active travel and have a range of measures in place to support this.

A key part of our response in this car-friendly city is also to promote the uptake of zero emission vehicles. The ACT has been a leader in this area and continues the transition of its own fleet. We now have more than 100 zero emission vehicles in the ACT government fleet, and this is growing, along with the charging infrastructure to support them. This leadership has been important in learning and demonstration, but now we need to grow our success in the private sector and with individuals with their vehicle choices across the city.

In this budget the government is supporting increased uptake of zero emission vehicles through both financial incentives and infrastructure support, along with strategic planning for future uptake. From May, new and used zero emission vehicles will be eligible for a two-year registration fee exemption. This strengthens the already generous financial support offered to those taking up these new technologies.

The ACT continues to have the highest, most generous subsidies in Australia to encourage people to take up zero emission vehicles. If we can get the commonwealth government to take a similar policy initiative to the one the ACT is taking, we could really accelerate the take-up of these vehicles in Australia.

The budget includes $2.7 million in funding to provide an additional 50 public charging stations to encourage those thinking about purchasing electric vehicles to feel more confident in their choice. This funding will also support the development of a master plan for electric vehicle charging and analysis to set a target for 2030 for new ACT zero emission vehicle sales. Together with the introduction of a fleet advisory service, these measures are designed to create a supportive ecosystem for zero emission vehicles.

Canberra is arguably the electric vehicle capital of Australia, with more EVs per capita than any other capital city. The measures being put in place by the government will help to solidify this position by addressing price range anxiety, information shortages and investment certainty.

The second key milestone achieved in 2020—and I am talking about real action—was reaching our 100 per cent renewable electricity target. With this achieved, more attention is focused on how to move away from natural gas use. Natural gas accounts


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