In October, the Greens won a record six seats in the ACT, tripling their presence in the state’s Legislative Assembly. Continuing their partnership with ACT Labor for their fourth consecutive term, the alliance on Monday published their parliamentary and governing agreement committing to take steps to phase out of fossil-fuel-gas in the ACT by 2045 at the latest and bring the territory to net zero-emissions.
As part of the policy agenda set out for the next four years, interest-free loans of up to $15,000 will be made available for households and not-for-profit community organisations, helping those in the territory with the upfront costs of investing in rooftop solar panels, household battery storage, as well as zero emission vehicles and efficient electric appliances. It is believed the alliance aims to offer the loans from the first quarter of next year.
The ACT alliance also committed to making good on their promise to deliver 250 MW of battery storage, which would see the nation’s capital break Tesla’s South Australia record for the country’s biggest battery. The plan has previously been hailed by Climate Council’s CEO, Amanda McKenzie. “At 250 MW, the storage capacity of the ACT battery system would be larger than Australia’s entire installed utility-scale battery capacity. This sets the ACT up to benefit from clean, reliable power for the future,” McKenzie said.
Other actions ACT Labor and Greens will take to reach their zero-emissions target include:
- Enacting minimum energy efficiency standards regulations for rental properties in 2021 with progressive implementation over the coming years.
- Implementing a five-year, $50 million program to improve building efficiency and sustainability for social and public housing, low income owner-occupiers, and the lowest performing rental properties.
- Working with industry and other stakeholders to advance all-electric infill developments, with a goal of no new gas mains network connections to future infill developments from 2023.
- Ensuring all new ACT government buildings and facilities are fossil-fuel-gas free, with the goal of retrofitting buildings and facilities to be net-zero emissions post retrofit.
This afternoon, ACT Labor’s chief minister Andrew Barr announced his cabinet, which includes three Greens members. Barr will take over ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury’s portfolio to become the Minister for Climate Action. Rattenbury will now become the Minister for Water, Energy, and Emissions Reduction as well as Attorney-General. Greens member Rebecca Vassarotti will join the cabinet at Minister for the Environment.
Rattenbury said he is happy with the power-sharing agreement’s “ambitious agenda” and climate action features.
“At a time of climate crisis, we know that the decisions we make today will have significant consequences for future generations of Canberrans,” he said.
“This Agreement outlines a positive and important agenda for the next four years, and the Greens are optimistic about what this partnership between Labor and the Greens can achieve during this term of the Assembly.”
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