The Community Action Party 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 the recent bush fires have confirmed the vulnerability of these essential foundations of our community. ACT governments have been too slow to take responsible action to address the climate crisis. 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 Party will work with communities, scientists, businesses, and others to achieve the goal of creating a carbon neutral ACT economy by 2035, or sooner if possible.
The Party congratulates the government of having achieved 100% renewable electricity in the ACT, but believes it urgently necessary to implement broader measures to significantly reduce energy consumption in areas such as transport, residential, and agriculture.
The Party supports investment in local business to help strengthen the ACT economy by taking a leading role in the development of sustainable industries.
The Party 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 Party supports 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 Party will assist private home-owners to install insulation, double glazing, solar energy, and other environmentally friendly technologies.
The Party supports purchasing electric vehicles for government use and subsidies for others.
The Party supports the re-use, recycling, and 'no waste' of resources in the ACT, with the aim of minimising the total waste stream.
The Party believes that the ACT's planning and development should be sustainable in the long term, taking proper account of environmental, social and economic objectives.
The Party will call for an independent inquiry into preventative fire management and its effects on biodiversity, water quality and fire fighting, particularly since severe bushfires 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.
The Party will commission an independent, open and transparent appraisal of water supply and water demand management options for the ACT.
The Party 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.
In urban areas, the Party supports informal green spaces being preserved and the Canberra Nature Park being extended to form a single, integrated entity.
The Party supports a massive tree planting program to replace the tree cover lost during the current government due to development, bush fires, and neglect.
The Party will 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.
The Party supports environmental education for all age groups.