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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 11 November 2021) . . Page.. 3399 ..

means that climate change action must be inclusive of everyone in our community and leave nobody behind. When it comes to climate change, we must act, and we must act now. Do or do not. There is no “try”.

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee—Minister for Skills, Minister for Transport and City Services and Special Minister of State) (5.38): I incorporate my speech in Hansard, in the interests of time.

The document read as follows—

Thank you Madam Speaker, I rise to lend my support to Ms Clay’s motion and particularly the elements which relate to zero emissions transport.

The ACT is leading the country in taking a responsible approach to managing climate change and our environment. We are proudly powered by 100% renewable electricity, cutting out a major source of greenhouse gas emissions that other jurisdictions are still working to reduce.

This has made the next task very clear. We need to tackle the next largest source of emissions, transport head on. Transport currently makes up over 60 per cent of the ACT’s net emissions, and 18% nationally, including emissions from private vehicles, public transport and other vehicles in our fleet like rideshare, taxis and municipal vehicles.

One of the important steps we are taking towards this goal is implementing the Zero-Emission Transition Plan for Transport Canberra. This outlines the pathway to achieve the ACT Government’s ambition of a zero-emission public transport system by 2040.

This has started with the introduction of light rail to Canberra, which has seen 20 per cent of all public transport trips now powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity. But we also need to tackle the emissions produced by buses currently powered by fossil fuels. Through the Plan, the ACT Government is transitioning our city’s bus fleet to zero-emissions, including addressing the infrastructure, investment and skills needed to make the transition operationally successful.

This Plan will see the Government replace ageing diesel and CNG buses with battery electric buses powered with the ACT’s 100 per cent renewable electricity. This will be timed with plans for new bus depots with electric charging infrastructure to support the growing fleet of zero-emissions buses. We have been in the market through this year undertaking procurement of the first tranche of leased electric buses which will hit Canberra’s streets from 2022. We are also well advanced with procurement on a larger tranche of 90 electric buses which will be progressively introduced to the network over the next three years.

The Zero-Emission Transition Plan for Transport Canberra also takes into account the wider commitments and objectives of the ACT Government for public transport. It isn’t enough to reduce emissions from our bus fleet. Key to addressing climate change is working to expand and improve our public transport network to encourage more Canberrans to use it, to move people efficiently around our city, and make it a better place to live. That’s why we are focused on delivering Stage 2 of light rail to Woden, and continuing to improve public transport services so that in the new year we can not only return patronage to its pre-COVID levels, but keep on growing it.

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