Climate action in Canberra’s planning system to go to a vote: ACT Greens

Australian Greens

The ACT Greens will bring climate action efforts to a vote (Thursday), as a sweeping planning Bill from Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur in the Legislative Assembly looks to (at last!) make climate impacts a consideration in Canberra’s planning decisions.

“Our planning laws do not currently take account of planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions from building projects. My legislation, if passed, will for the first time mean that the planning system examines the greenhouse gas emissions of at least the largest emitters,” ACT Greens Planning spokesperson Caroline Le Couteur said today.

“The ACT Greens want a Canberra that works for everyone. Yet there are too many unsustainable, poorly-built developments popping up across the ACT – and the consequences for our climate are an afterthought in our planning system.

“Canberra’s planning system is outdated, tough to navigate, and not delivering the sustainable, climate-ready city that Canberrans expect and deserve.

“That’s why today, I’m pleased to bring this major planning reform legislation to a vote in the Legislative Assembly. If supported, it will deliver real and lasting improvement to Canberra’s outdated planning system.

“Canberrans want climate action, and they want it now. If supported, this Bill will at last make climate change a key feature of our planning system.”

Ms Le Couteur’s Bill will require the ACT Government to:

  • Consider, for the first time in ACT history, climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions when Development Applications (DAs) are being assessed in the merit and impact tracks
  • Ensure high greenhouse gas-emitting development proponents undertake an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), giving the community a chance to fight for them to be cleaner and greener, and better for our community.

“The community expects that the decisions made for our city’s future are sustainable – prepare us for a more extreme climate reality – and give our community a say. When it comes to urban planning, progress has been far too slow.

“To keep Canberra a great place to live, as well as the ‘bush capital’, we really should be leaders in sustainable urban development. The changes I’m proposing will help make this a reality.”

/Public Release. View in full here.