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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 25 November 2021) . . Page.. 3677 ..

Canberrans understand that reducing emissions is expensive. We need to invest in R&D and technology and equipment. But we also need to confront the adverse effects of our targets, such as the increase in electricity prices that has resulted. The Canberra Liberals are disappointed that the government has not given this issue the attention it deserves.

The budget was a missed opportunity for the Labor-Greens government to focus on community climate action. Only $600,000 will be directed over the next four years to community groups, despite the government claiming that support and leadership across the community will become even more important as we move into the next stage of reducing emissions. The Canberra Liberals would have liked to see a greater funding commitment, given we all know that community engagement on climate is vital, along with education and clear communication.

The Chief Minister claimed in his budget speech that the government would help to protect Canberra’s unique environment by increasing funding to the ACT Healthy Waterways project. An extra $3.5 million has been allocated for this program, but it remains to be seen what the government will do to improve water quality in the ACT. The Canberra Liberals also question what effective action will be achieved, given that responsibility for water management, policy and programs crosses so many directorates and agencies in the territory. The Canberra Liberals hope that more clarity and information will be provided to the Assembly about how the government plans to spend this additional funding and how it will improve water quality.

Before concluding, I want to raise my concerns about the lack of transparency in the government’s policy and programs relating to climate issues. Too often we come across a report that has not been made public or funding that is announced with little detail or information. The Canberra Liberals and the Canberra community care passionately about climate issues and want to understand what specific programs the government is funding and what emissions reductions they will achieve.

We need regular public reporting on the success of these measures so that the community can have confidence that their money is well spent. A number of important documents have not been released—the 10-year review of the Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act; the public charging master plan; the government’s plan to phase out fossil fuel gas by 2045; and the establishment of a fleet advisory service to support businesses and community transitioning to zero emissions vehicles.

All of these documents have been referred to in the government’s last two budgets, but the Assembly is yet to hear anything more about them. We need more transparency and accountability when it comes to our climate initiatives, particularly given that there is tripartisan agreement to achieve our climate goals.

The Canberra Liberals want to see more funding for community groups, vulnerable households and emissions reduction programs. The Canberra Liberals also call on the government to provide detailed breakdowns and performance targets for all programs and climate initiatives. This includes a cost-benefit analysis so that Canberrans can

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