The Community Alliance Party (CAP) will work with the community, business, and governments to develop a long-term vision for a genuinely sustainable ACT. We must develop the capability to respond effectively to the challenges of a changing and increasingly variable climate.
Currently, the ACT environment is in reasonably good condition, with relatively clean air and water and large areas of national park. But recent ACT governments have been too slow to take responsible action on issues such as climate change. They have neglected social, economic and environmental sustainability by allowing ad hoc developments, transport policies and practices that maximise profits and convenience at the expense of the environment.
The impacts of climate change and climate variability are already noticeable. The Alliance will work with communities, scientists, businesses, and others to achieve the goal of creating a carbon neutral ACT economy by 2050, or sooner if possible.
- urgently implement measures to significantly reduce energy use and aims to achieve 100% renewable energy in the ACT by 2030, or sooner if possible; and
- support investment in local business to help strengthen the ACT economy by taking a leading role in the development of sustainable industries.
CAP will work with communities to identify and implement ways of reducing the ACT’s ecological footprint, thereby helping to build a genuinely sustainable community in the ACT in partnership with the wider Australian community.
- the introduction of national ecological footprint labelling to show how much greenhouse gases are emitted during the manufacture, distribution, and disposal of food, detergents, electrical appliances and other products;
- all new housing—in new developments and redevelopments—and government facilities must meet stringent design standards of resource efficiency, and public housing stock should be progressively retro-fitted or replaced to meet such standards. The Alliance will assist private home-owners to install insulation, double glazing, solar energy, and other environmentally friendly technologies;
- purchasing electric vehicles for government use;
- the re-use, recycling, and ‘no waste’ of resources in the ACT, with the aim of minimising the total waste stream; and .
- that the ACT’s planning and development should be sustainable in the long term, taking proper account of environmental, social and economic objectives.
- CAP will lobby for an independent inquiry into preventative fire management and its effects on biodiversity, water quality and fire fighting, particularly since severe bush fires are likely to occur more often as a result of climate change. This will use the results from past inquiries as a starting point.
Monitoring regimes for environmental values will be improved where required to enable an accurate assessment and improved understanding of the environment.
- CAP will lobby for an independent, open and transparent appraisal of water supply and water demand management options for the ACT.
CAP recognises the value of the ACT’s biodiversity in the context of the wider Australian Capital Region and the special role the ACT has in conserving important species and ecological communities. Nature reserves, national parks and wildlife corridors will be protected.
- CAP will lobby the government to improve the control of noxious plants and feral animals in the ACT, e.g. Blackberry, Patterson’s Curse, Foxes, and Indian Mynah birds, but rejects the culling of indigenous species such as kangaroos, with preference for relocation.
- CAP supports environmental education for all age groups.