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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 June 2021) . . Page.. 1925 ..


We need infrastructure that will perform well in our future climate and, where possible, actually help to keep our city cooler.

Some recent examples where new ACT government infrastructure has aligned with these goals include our two all-electric schools, Margaret Hendry and Evelyn Scott. These are not just great environments for learning; they demonstrate that all-electric buildings, powered by our 100 per cent renewable electricity, are workable and cost-effective in the ACT. We also have the ACT’s first all-electric major office building in Dickson, demonstrating that all-electric heating is a viable solution for large office buildings in our climate. We have the sustainability upgrades in social housing project that is installing solar panels on public and community housing properties to reduce energy costs and build the climate resilience of low income households.

We have also announced future commitments that will meet our community’s needs while cutting emissions. The new Canberra Hospital extension will be all-electric and the new Woden CIT will be a leading-edge development linked to clean, modern transport systems. Addressing climate change is a core business just as much as providing health services, waste management, education, parks management, transport provision and a range of other services. We must continue to find ways to build climate change considerations into all our infrastructure projects.

The climate change strategy includes three actions that relate to infrastructure decisions. Action 5.4 is to implement a sustainable procurement approach for goods and services and capital works that ensure greenhouse gas and adaptation outcomes are considered in all procurement decisions. Action 5.5 is to ensure that the social cost of carbon and climate change adaptation outcomes are considered in all ACT government policies, budget decisions, capital works projects and procurements.

Action 5.6 is to ensure that all new government capital works with a budget of more than $10 million either seek or are consistent with an independent sustainability rating, such as the infrastructure sustainability rating from the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia, or a green star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia or equivalent. These actions are designed to ensure that climate change is considered in all decisions, and that we are making the best choices for our community, given the risks we face.

On sustainable procurement, action 5.4, we will continue to strengthen our sustainable procurement guidelines to ensure that appropriate considerations are built in from the start. Prioritising the selection of vendors and suppliers that align with ACT government climate change policies and goals will help to incentivise suppliers to move towards zero emissions.

The social cost of carbon, action 5.5, is a measure of the impacts of emissions on the environment and society. Having an agreed value of these costs means that we can relate them in a clear way to investment decisions, such as business cases, regulatory impact analysis and cost-benefit assessments. Climate change is a complex topic, but a social cost of carbon is an elegant measure to ensure that we make decisions not just on short-term and local issues, but with an understanding of the impact on our


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