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Green Guide to Government Policy

1. Policy framework

Thu 24 Feb, 2011 Australian Capital Territory

1.1 Weathering the Change

Weathering the Change - the ACT Climate Change Strategy 2007-2025 is the policy framework that sets out the approaches the Government will pursue from 2007 until 2025 to support the broader community response to climate change, including in the building sector. It provides an overview of climate change science and the predicted impacts on the ACT.

Detailed Action Plans will be developed at regular intervals during the life of the Strategy to respond to new knowledge and technological developments. The first Action Plan (2007-2011) had four key objectives:

  • Being smarter in the use of resources
  • Designing and planning the City to be more sustainable
  • Adapting to current and future climate change
  • Improving understanding of climate change

The second Action Plan will be developed and released in 2011.

1.2 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets

In November 2010, the ACT Government enacted the Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act 2010, which commits the ACT to making a 40% cent cut in emissions, based on 1990 levels, by 2020, and 80% by 2050. In addition it:

  • mandates regular reporting to the Legislative Assembly on the ACT's greenhouse gas emissions trends;
  • establishes a Climate Change Council to provide independent advice on climate change issues as they effect business and the wider community; and,
  • encourages private organisations and industries to take action through voluntary sector agreements with Government.

1.3 Spatial plan evaluation - Review of ACT Planning Strategy

The ACT Government is committed to evaluating and monitoring its progress on the strategic vision encapsulated in the Canberra Plan, namely a more sustainable and creative city. Given this, the ACT has commenced evaluating, researching and benchmarking its over-arching spatial planning strategy, set out in the 2004 Spatial Plan and Sustainable Transport Plan.

The work addresses, among many issues, how Canberra can achieve its target of a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions; house the anticipated increase in population, and meet the needs of a changing demographic profile; ensure equitable access to services as well as more sustainable transport corridors; create variety in the urban environment to cater for different lifestyles; and how to mitigate the risks and vulnerabilities in Canberra's urban form to climate change.

Most of the evidence and evaluation work undertaken to date can be found on the ACT Planning and Land Authority website: http://www.actpla.act.gov.au/topics/significant_projects/change/sustainable_future

Stakeholder and public engagement in the evaluation is important. Key stakeholder evaluation commenced with the Sustainable Future workshops and discussion paper released in December 2009. Broader community engagement, Time to Talk Canberra 2030 has recently been conducted, and this reaffirms the importance Canberrans place on being 'green'. The Outcomes Report on this engagement was released in January and for further detail go to the website at http://www.canberra2030.org.au/

Last updated Wed 5 Oct 2011