Video blog announcement: ACT Labor’s plan to help Canberrans save energy and money

ACT Labor’s plan to help Canberrans save energy and money

We all share a sense of pride in our city. ACT Labor continues to invest in Canberra to make it an even better place to live, work, study and play.

We are working hard to improve our high standard of living and ensure our city continues to thrive with more jobs and more services than ever before.

ACT Labor took the lead in 2007 with its initial response to the challenge of climate change Weathering the Change Action Plan 1. ACT Labor has been implementing the actions identified in the plan and will continue to deliver sensible and cost effective programs as we move on to Weathering the Change Action Plan 2.

The actions cover mitigation and adaptation and include a strong focus on energy efficiency and conservation.

But there is more to do.

If re-elected in 2012, ACT Labor will help Canberra households reduce energy, reduce emissions and save money on bills which lower the cost of living.

ACT Labor will provide online tools to help Canberrans better manage their energy use.
We will also legislate to make sure all new homes in Canberra will be fitted with a ‘single switch’ which will turn off power and reduce energy use from non-essential appliances.

ACT Labor’s energy savings policy will reduce energy costs to Canberrans while reducing emissions. The benefits are a win-win for everyone in our community – energy savings go directly to households and businesses and less demand lowers generation and other costs in the energy supply system, adding to savings and decreasing the cost of living.

The improved website and educational tools will aid and guide Canberrans on ways to take personal action to improve their lifestyles while contributing to the effort to combat global warming.
The move to a single switch in new buildings will make it easier for new homeowners and businesses to manage their own energy use in the ways recommended on the website.

Policy costings

ACT Labor will invest $183,000 in recurrent funding over four years to provide practical online tools which will help Canberrans to save energy and money.

2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 TOTAL
Recurrent $0.031 $0.110 $0.042m – $0.183
Total $0.031 $0.110 $0.042m – $0.183

Policy Initiatives
Better advice and tools to save energy and lower bills
ACT Labor will improve the ACT Government website to offer better advice and tools for Canberrans to learn what they can do to save energy while making their homes more liveable and saving money by lowering energy bills.

We will add a web-based household/personal sustainability footprint calculator, action planning and tracking tool which will be accessed via the ACTSmart website. These tools will provide the general public with information about a range of actions to help them to live more sustainably, reduce their carbon footprint and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The website will also encourage Canberrans to pledge their commitment to a sustainable lifestyle.

Legislative changes
If re-elected, ACT Labor will legislate to mandate for new premises to have a single switch design on certain power circuits in buildings, saving energy and money for residents and businesses.
When activated, the single switch will turn off all appliances plugged into the linked socket outlets in the home, but would exclude appliances plugged into specific unlinked sockets for equipment that needs to run continuously, such as refrigerators.

These initiatives will work in partnership to ensure that the entire community can benefit from reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Householders who use the website to implement the advice on the site and or use the single switch once it is installed will benefit from lower energy use and lower power bills. These initiatives will also assist low income earners.

Both these initiatives will be linked to ACT Labor’s recently passed Energy Efficiency (Cost of Living Improvement) Act 2012, which includes a Single Switch option as an eligible activity to retrofit into existing homes and will see some energy efficiency education from utilities to match their offers.

What we have already delivered
• The ACT Labor Government has legislated an Energy Efficiency obligation scheme as part of its Weathering the Change Climate Change Strategy with the passage of the Energy Efficiency (Cost of Living Improvement) Act 2012. The Act will provide energy efficiency and savings on bills to more than 70,000 ACT households with a discrete mandated target of 25% for low income households;
• ACT Labor’s legislated obligation placed on electricity retailers to offer GreenPower first to consumers;
• The ACT Small Business Energy and Water Program which helps to reduce energy and water use in businesses while lowering operating costs;
• The delivery of energy efficiency programs under the ACTSmart brand;
• The $4.4m Outreach program delivered through community sector partners such as Communities@ Work, the YWCA and St Vincent de Paul Society to assist low income households lower energy costs;
• Free Home Energy Advice Team (HEAT) services to help Canberrans find out how to reduce energy use and save money at the same time as well as offering rebates to take action at home; and
• Home Energy Action Kits to allow homeowners to undertake their own audit assessment of their energy use so they can take action to reduce it.

12 October 2012

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Election policy: Capital Metro Light Rail Project to be delivered through Canberra’s first large-scale private partnership

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ACT Labor is committed to transforming Canberra’s public transport services and improving residents’ transport choices.  Better public transport services will help reduce the costs associated with multiple car ownership, traffic congestion and will assist in reducing Canberra’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The ACT Labor Government has released a comprehensive strategy to improve Canberra’s public transport network called Transport for Canberra.

 

Transport for Canberra will drive improvements in service frequency and coverage.   Along with improving and extending frequency of bus services along Rapid Corridors, the plan proposes travel guarantees to reduce waiting times when interchanging and increasing frequency for suburban coverage services.

ACT Labor is already delivering improvements to public transport, including the extension of Red Rapid services to the Kippax Group centre to service West Belconnen, Real Time Bus Information, the construction of the ANU Exchange Bus Station, the new Belconnen Community Bus Station and the Belconnen to City Transit way project.

As part of its comprehensive plan, the ACT Labor Government has also been investigating options to construct Light Rail Transit from the Gungahlin Town Centre to the City Centre as the first stage of a broader rapid transit network across our city.

This is a transformative project that will change the face of Canberra and the way it functions and grows.

 

As well as providing a faster, more frequent, and reliable public transport service which will encourage mode shift away from private vehicles, this project will facilitate urban renewal at both the residential and commercial levels, bringing about significant transit oriented land use changes.

If re-elected in 2012, ACT Labor will establish the ACT’s first large-scale private sector partnership to plan, finance and develop the first stage of a Light Rail Network for Canberra – the Capital Metro.

Capital Metro will be the backbone of Canberra’s public transport network, combined with the Frequent Network of buses.  Options for investigation of second and subsequent stages are already being considered, including Kingston (East Lake) to the City via Barton, Woden to the City, Woden to Erindale and Tuggeranong, as well as to Belconnen, Weston Creek and Molonglo.

 Policy costings

The current revised total project cost estimate is $614 million.  This cost estimate will continue to be refined as the project progresses through forward design.  This figure includes feasibility, design, construction and vehicle purchase including a light rail depot.

In order to progress this project, ACT Labor will commit to $30 million in capital funding.  This $30 million funding will be used to undertake the next stage of concept and design work, and development of funding and financing analysis and models in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 period.

Funding for Capital Metro Stage 1 project delivery and construction will be through a private sector partnership, with finance and delivery models to be developed as part of work in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

 ACT Labor’s plan to transform our city with Capital Metro

 

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

TOTAL

Capital

$15m*

$15m*

$30 million*

Recurrent**

Total

$15m

$15m

$30 million*

* This is ACT Labor’s committed funding. This will reduce to $7.5 million each year if the funding submission to Infrastructure Australia is successful.

** Recurrent funding will be provided to the Capital Metro Project Office (currently the Gungahlin to City Project Office) from the Land Development Agency.  The LDA is not budget funded.

What is Capital Metro?

Capital Metro Stage 1 will be a light rail service with vehicles capable of carrying up to 200 people at 8-10 minute frequencies along a 12km route from Hibberson Street in Gungahlin to the City Centre.  The proposal will involve major stations at Gungahlin Town Centre and Dickson Group Centre with high quality stops 750m-1.5km apart at various points along Flemington Road and Northbourne Avenue, terminating between Alinga and Rudd Streets close to the City Bus Interchange.

Capital Metro Stage 1 will be developed on the median alignment along Flemington Road and Northbourne Avenue.  It is proposed to retain the existing verge and median widths along Northbourne Avenue and also provide dedicated 3 metre wide segregated cycle lanes to improve cycling safety along Northbourne Avenue.  Flemington Road will include 1.5m dedicated cycleways in the verge.  Improvements will also be made to pedestrian infrastructure along the corridor.

Capital Metro Stage 1 will help manage congestion on the crowded Flemington Road Northbourne Avenue corridor and the broader Canberra road network.  Currently travel delay during the AM peak is approximately 16 minutes.  The development of Capital Metro Stage 1 is projected to reduce travel delay by up to 6 minutes based on the business as usual scenario.  Capital Metro’s travel times are estimated to be at least 30% faster than general vehicle traffic.

 Work to date

In 2012, ACT Labor established the Gungahlin to City Project Office to coordinate the delivery of rapid transit and urban redevelopment along the Gungahlin to City corridor.

This recognised that the project is also a significant urban renewal project with the need to coordinate and use “value capture” to help finance public transport infrastructure works and renew existing sites on the corridor, such as the Northbourne Flats Public Housing precinct.

Detailed engineering and economic analysis has been undertaken as part of the project, with the economic analysis confirming a strong benefit cost ratio of 2.34 for Light Rail Transit on the Gungahlin to City Corridor, supported by more people and jobs moving into the corridor over the next 20 years.

To date, the project has involved engineering concept design, pre-feasibility cost estimates and further refining of those, public transport modelling, economic and financial evaluations, community consultation and a submission to Infrastructure Australia1

 What are the next steps?

To progress the Capital Metro project during 2012-13 an ACT Labor Government will direct the renamed Capital Metro Project Office to:

  • Commence preparation of a Master Plan for Northbourne Avenue and the Gungahlin to City Corridor, to establish the pathway to higher population and employment in the corridor.
  • Undertake further transport planning and engineering work to develop the Metro project, with the following four priority projects to be completed by December 2013:
    • Light rail vehicle options study ($100,000), to investigate appropriate vehicle options for the corridor and the broader network;
    • Transport planning to support light rail ($200,000) – bus network integration and implications, regulatory impacts and supportive policy options;
    • Light rail staging study ($225,000) – to confirm early works plan, utility relocation, public realm including landscaping and supporting infrastructure, project timeframes and detailed staging;
    • Light rail station infrastructure design study ($225,000) – station concept design for Gungahlin, Dickson and City stations and standard light rail stop concept design.

 

ACT Labor’s commitment of $30 million over the next two years is for further feasibility and forward design during 2013-14 and 2014-15.  We have also submitted a funding proposal to Infrastructure Australia as part of the Nation Building II funding round, for a $15 million contribution to offset the ACT Labor Government’s costs in this phase of the project.

The proposed program for 2013-14 and 2014-15 will include:

Advance 2011-12 and 2012-13 pre-concept design work into concept and preliminary design:

  • Final design of stations/stops, depots and supporting infrastructure;
  • Final design of track infrastructure;
  • City station and future expansion (including connections to east – Constitution Avenue, and south – Commonwealth Avenue);
  • Detailed design of preferred light rail vehicle from the 2013 study;
  • Public transport network integration;
  • Survey works and quantity estimates;
  • Cost estimation at design level (increased accuracy);
  • Delivery model development including risk assessment of delivery options; and
  • Preparation of tender document package.

 

Economic and financing work:

  • Further detailed modelling of light rail option;
  • Further refinement of economic analysis;
  • Financing options including pricing and private sector partnership;
  • Triple Bottom Line Analysis and alignment to ACT Labor Government goals in social, economic and sustainability areas;
  • Delivery strategy; and
  • Optimum Stage 1 investment.

 Finalise the Gungahlin to City Master Plan:

  • Refine land use analysis and land value capture analysis;
  • Assessment of implications (Greenfield and revenue analysis); and
  • Link to City Strategic Plan being developed through the Commonwealth Government’s Liveable Cities Program.

 When will the first stage of Capital Metro be complete?

Capital Metro Stage 1 will be one of the largest infrastructure investments made by the ACT Government for many years.  It is essential to plan and prepare for a project of this complexity carefully, so that issues such as detailed community consultation, feasibility analysis, environmental considerations, station design and location, relocation and upgrade of existing infrastructure and financing options can all be properly considered.

Capital Metro Stage 1 is anticipated to be completed by 2018, with construction estimated to commence in 2016.  This timeframe is comparable with the Gold Coast light rail project, which is now under construction and is estimated to have an 8 year project life from project inception to completion.

 

Some of these earlier reports can be accessed from the links below:

Fact Sheet

http://www.transport.act.gov.au/studies_projects/City%20To%20Gungahlin%20factsheet.pdf

Concept Report

http://www.transport.act.gov.au/studies_projects/City%20to%20Gungahlin%20Concept%20report.pdf

Project update April 2012

http://www.transport.act.gov.au/studies_projects/City%20to%20Gungahlin%20transit%20Update%202.pdf

Community Survey findings

http://www.transport.act.gov.au/studies_projects/City%20to%20Gungahlinn%20survey%20findings.pdf

Election policy: ACT Labor to reward good drivers

ACT Labor is building a better community, one which has a strong local economy and more jobs than anywhere else in Australia.  We enjoy a high standard of living and we are investing in the future transport needs of Canberra.

ACT Labor has worked hard to improve the safety of all road users and reduce our rates of accident and injury on the road, by building better roads and through investing in more police.

Canberra has thousands of good drivers who abide by the rules, drive safely and do not attract penalties or infringement notices.  These drivers contribute to making our safety record even better.

There are currently around 275,000 full active driver’s licences (excluding heavy vehicles) in the ACT.

Data over the last 10 years indicates that around 60 – 65% of full licence holders attracted no demerit points or infringement notices over their five year licence period, and around one fifth of these will renew their licence each year.

New and young drivers should also be rewarded for safe driving practices.  Provisional licences are held for three years.  There are currently about 20,000 active provisional driver/rider licences in the ACT, with about 7,000 progressing to a full licence each year.  More than half of these, around 4,500, progress to their full licence without incurring demerit points or infringement notices.

These are the drivers, and the driving behaviour, that need to be encouraged and rewarded.

 

That’s why if re-elected in 2012, ACT Labor will encourage and reward good drivers by providing a 20% discount on fees for licence renewals and for P-Platers with clean driving records.

 

Policy costings

ACT Labor will forego revenue to provide a 20% discount to clean-record drivers renewing their full licence for a further five years, costing approximately $968,000 on 2012 licence figures.

ACT Labor will forego revenue to provide a 20% discount on the full driver licence fee to eligible provisional drivers on progressing to a full licence will cost approximately $154,000 on 2012 licence figures.

The proposal to provide a 20% discount will cost around $4.660 million over four years.

ACT Labor’s plan to reward good drivers

 

2013 – 2014

2014 -2015

2015 – 2016

2016 – 2017

TOTAL

Full licence renewals – revenue foregone*

$.968m

$.992m

$1.017m

$1.042m

$4.020m

P-Platers to full licence – revenue foregone**

$.154m

$.158m

$0.162

$0.166

$.640m

Total

$1.122

$1.150

$1.179

$1.208

$4.660m

Please note that figures may not total due to rounding.

* Assumes that one fifth of full licence holders who have no infringements in the last five years will renew their licence each year.  The number of full licence holders has been held constant.  Costing includes 2.5% annual indexation of the fees.

** The number of P plate licence holders has been held constant. Costing includes 2.5% annual indexations of the fees.

How will it work?

To encourage and reward good driving behaviour, a 20% discount on licence renewal fees will be given for drivers with a 5 year clean record—no demerit points and no infringement notices.  The current full licence fee is $157 for a five year licence.  A 20% discount will save each licence holder $31.40.

P-Platers who progress to a full five year licence with a clean driving record will also receive a 20% discount on the full $157 licence fee, again a saving of $31.40.

The road transport authority computer system that manages driver licensing arrangements will be enhanced to advise licensees of the discounted amount to be paid when sending reminder notices.

9 September 2012

Election policy: ACT Labor to establish Industrial Magistrates Court

ACT Labor is building a better community, one which has a strong local economy, and is creating more jobs than ever before.

Canberrans enjoy a high standard of living, with record levels of investment in infrastructure which means our city is thriving. We are well prepared to meet the needs of all Canberrans by investing now in what we will need tomorrow.

But nothing is more important than the health and safety of our growing population.

Ensuring the safety of all workers is a priority for ACT Labor. This has been demonstrated by the significant reforms delivered by the ACT Labor Government in workplace health and safety.

We have fostered an industrial relations system in the ACT which encourages employers and employees to work together for safety and fairness so that workers and employers can share in the returns of our strong economy.

It is important that compliance with health and safety laws keeps pace with our growing jobs market.

We have already announced a major inquiry into ACT health and safety laws in the local construction industry to look at how we can better protect workers in this high risk industry. The inquiry will also look at how we can better inform government employers, workers and the general community about compliance with health and safety laws in the sector and to identify how we can further improve.

But there is more to do.

If re-elected in 2012, ACT Labor will establish an Industrial

Magistrate’s Court and appoint Industrial Magistrates.

It will allow for the development of greater experience and

specialisation of workplace health and safety law by the courts.

 

Policy costings

ACT Labor will introduce legislation to amend the Magistrates Court Act 1930 to provide for an industrial magistrates court and the appointment of Industrial Magistrates. As an existing magistrate would be appointed as an Industrial Magistrate there are no additional costs for the establishment of this new jurisdiction.

ACT Labor’s plan to establish an Industrial Magistrate’s Court.

 

2013 – 2014

2014 -2015

2015 – 2016

2016 – 2017

TOTAL

Funding

Total

Why do we need an Industrial Magistrates Court?

In the ACT there are no specialist arrangements in place for the management of the jurisdiction related to work health and safety matters.

All other states and territories in Australia, except Tasmania, have specialist arrangements within their Magistrates Court jurisdiction for the hearing of issues related to workplace health and safety, including workplace accidents and deaths, either as part of an Industrial Magistrates Court or Division or as Industrial Magistrates.

Recognition of work health and safety jurisdiction as a specialist area will provide an opportunity for specialist procedures and attention for these matters where appropriate. The allocation of specific magistrates to this jurisdiction has the potential to increase the specialist expertise in this jurisdiction.

What happens now?

Under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 a person who holds a health and safety duty and engages in conduct that exposes an individual to whom that duty is owed to a risk of death or serious injury or illness commits an offence punishable by 5 years imprisonment and or $300,000 fine (for a person conducting a business). There are also a range of civil penalties and offences.

In the ACT the Magistrates Court has civil jurisdiction to hear and decide actions where the amount claimed is not more than $250,000.

The ACT Magistrates Court can deal with criminal offences in three broad categories:

  • All offences with a maximum penalty of up to 2 years imprisonment (summary offences);
  • Offences that carry a maximum penalty of between 2 and 5 years imprisonment where the DPP has elected for the matter to be tried summarily (indictable offence heard summarily) in such cases the magistrates sentencing jurisdiction is limited to a maximum of 2 years; and
  • Offences that carry a maximum penalty of between 5 and 10 years imprisonment where the accused consents for the matter to be tried summarily and the court is of the opinion that it can appropriately deal with the matter (indictable offence heard summarily) where the sentencing jurisdiction is 5 years.

Where the ACT Magistrates Court has heard an indictable offence summarily and at sentencing comes to the view that its sentencing jurisdiction is insufficient to deal with the matter appropriately, the ACT Magistrates Court can commit the offender to the ACT Supreme Court for sentencing. The ACT Supreme Court has sole jurisdiction to hear criminal matters involving harm to a person where the maximum penalty is greater than 10 years imprisonment.

How will it work?

ACT Labor envisages the Industrial Magistrate’s Court could be based on the Children’s Court model. Magistrates of the ACT Magistrates Court are taken to be the Children’s Court when exercising the relevant defined jurisdiction and the Magistrate exercising the jurisdiction becomes known as the Children’s Magistrate.

There is a requirement for the Chief Magistrate to declare one of the existing magistrates the Children’s Court Magistrate for a term not longer than two years. Other magistrates may also be assigned to deal with matters where there might otherwise be delay or conflict.

This model has the advantage of requiring a specific appointment as an industrial magistrate which would lead to specialisation in the area of industrial workplace accidents.

The establishment of an Industrial Magistrate in the ACT would allow for the development of a greater experience and understanding of the particular issues that arise in workplace health and safety law.

The establishment of an Industrial Magistrate’s court would also allow for the development of specific procedures and processes in this jurisdiction in order to manage the issues more effectively.

Will we consult on the preferred model?

We will engage in stakeholder discussion on the exact model and jurisdiction of the position. Stakeholder consultation will include the appropriateness of the Children’s Court model in the ACT and current models for management of work and safety laws in other states and territories.

Election policy: 10 more community gardens across Canberra

If re-elected in 2012, ACT Labor will fund 10 more community gardens across Canberra in existing suburbs to make our community places and spaces even better.

We will provide an additional $200,000 over four years in capital funding to establish the community gardens through a new Community Garden Funding Program.

This funding commitment is in addition to our existing commitment to cut red tape in the establishment and operation of community gardens.

The 14 community gardens already operating in the ACT, provide opportunities for urban and suburban residents to grow their own fruit and vegetables and enjoy gardening activities in a social setting, as well as creating a greater sense of community.

Growing food locally in this way provides benefits in building community health and wellbeing, which in turn contributes to the liveability of our city.

The ACT Labor Government recognises the increasing popularity of community gardening, and values the contribution it makes to a healthy society and a more sustainable environment.

Community gardens are generally community-initiated, and managed by community organisations on behalf of their members.

The ACT Labor Government has already responded to the increased demand for community gardens in our new and established suburbs by cutting red tape and making it easier for community groups to set up a garden.

This funding commitment is in addition to our existing commitment to cut red tape in the establishment and operation of community gardens.

Policy costings

ACT Labor’s plan fund more community gardens across Canberra

 

2013 – 2014

2014 -2015

2015 – 2016

2016 – 2017

TOTAL

Recurrent funding

Capital

$0.04m

$0.04m

$0.06m

$0.06m

$0.2 million

Total

$0.04m

$0.04m

$0.06m

$0.06m

$0.2 million

How will it work?

A Community Garden Funding Program will be established to provide $200,000 over four years to establish the gardens based on criteria developed through feedback on the Community Gardens Discussion Paper.

The funding will cover the costs of setting up a garden, such as establishing the water supply, providing fencing and basic infrastructure including equipment sheds and garden beds, and any initial set up costs.

Recognising the strong interest in our community for people to be involved in communal gardening activities, we will make sure that residents in our new and developing suburbs also have access to this type of facility. That’s why when we plan for new suburbs in our growing city we are identifying suitable sites for community gardens.

We have already allocated $100,000 to establish a community garden in each of the two new suburbs of Coombs and Lawson in the Molonglo Valley as an integral part of developing sustainable suburbs for Canberrans.

ACT Labor will also involve residents in choosing the final community garden sites, and for the first time, enable Canberrans to nominate and vote online for preferred locations of a garden in their local area.

Siting gardens locally supports our objectives of reducing the Territory’s ecological footprint and carbon emissions, producing food locally, and engendering social inclusiveness and a sense of belonging.

What we are already doing

ACT Labor knows that community gardening improves community health and well-being, food security, lowers natural resource consumption and builds community resilience.

We’ve helped established up to 14 community gardens across the ACT – in Charnwood, Cook, Cotter, Dickson, Erindale, Holder, Kaleen, Kambah, Kingston, Mitchell, Oaks Estate, O’Connor, Narrabundah and at the ANU. Eleven of these are managed by the Canberra Organic Growers Society (COGS).

The typical Canberra community garden has individual garden plots for 20 or more members, plus communal areas. There are also many kitchen gardens associated with schools and productive gardens within some public housing complexes.

More requests are being regularly received from the gardening community for suitable land to be set aside in new estates and in established neighbourhoods.

ACT Labor has already;

  • Amended the Planning and Development Regulations to exempt community gardens on unleased Territory land for the need to gain development approval;Waived the licence application fee for community gardens (previously $1500);
  • Begun establishing a ‘one stop shop’ for the processing of any matters relating to community gardens, including a single entry point on the ACT Government website;
  • Commissioned a research study by the University of Canberra on the demands for and benefits of community gardens to the Canberra community, to inform future policy and grants programs; and,
  • Released a discussion paper (Community Gardens in the ACT: Draft Site Selection Criteria for Future Locations) to get the public and stakeholder views as to where and how such gardens should be established (available at http://www.actpla.act.gov.au).

Big Solar arrives in Canberra

Today I announced that Canberra will see the development of the largest solar power plant to be built in Australia to date.

Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), a global solar developer based in Spain, will deliver the Royalla 1 20MW solar farm on a rural property in Tuggeranong, just off the Monaro Highway near Royalla.

Digital image of the FRV 20 MW Royalla solar farm. View towards the west with Monaro Highway in foreground. Image courtesy of FRV.

The development has been made possible due to the ACT Labor Governments large scale renewable energy generation feed in tariff law.   This law allows the ACT to develop up to 210 MW of renewable generation using a reverse auction process.   This allows us to get the largest amount of renewable energy at the cheapest price for consumers.

This has certainly been confirmed with the announcement today.  ACT households will pay only 25 cents a week or $13 a year as a result of the large-scale feed in tariff for Royalla 1.  This will reduce to just 19 cents a week, or just $9.50 a year, by 2020 as the cost of wholesale electricity continues to rise.   The process shows large-scale solar is affordable and efficient.

Royalla 1 is expected to create 50 jobs during construction and will help our city achieve its greenhouse gas reduction targets by reducing emissions by over 500,000 tonnes in the next 20 years.   The farm will provide enough power to supply nearly 4,500 Canberra homes.

The project will commence construction in 2013 and is expected to be operational in early 2014.

This project confirms Canberra is leading Australia in making the shift to a sustainable future, I am proud it is a Labor Government which is showing the way.

SC

Bus Stations for Adelaide Avenue?

As a frequent bus user travelling from Woden to Civic, I have often thought about the benefits of having bus stops on the Adelaide Avenue corridor near Curtin, Hughes, Deakin and Yarralumla.

The Blue Rapid (300) service provides great coverage on this corridor, with buses running every 5-7 minutes during the day, yet if you live, work or go to school near the corridor, you can’t take advantage of this high frequency service.

The ACT Labor Government is currently investigating options to build bus stations along Adelaide Avenue and Yarra Glen as a way to improve people’s transport choices along the corridor. The options are for stations or stops at Carruthers Street bridge, Novar Street/Kent Street bridge and Hopetoun Circuit overpass.

 

Initial consultation took place in February this year.  You can view the options released for comment and the public consultation report here.   There was strong support for the idea from a majority of people who had their say.

In the next few weeks further public consultation will take place asking for feedback on possible designs for each site.  Stay tuned for further details.

This work is an important part of ACT Labor’s Transport for Canberra Plan, as we work to improve transport choices for our community.

SC

Making things right with restorative justice

Visiting Kambah Pool with members of the Restorative Justice Unit and Parks, Conservation and Lands

Earlier this week I visited Kambah Pool, one of the ACT’s great recreational spaces, to see how a group of young people have taken responsibility for the vandalism that they caused in July 2011. The young people had the opportunity to see the error of their ways and make amends through the ACT Labor Government’s restorative justice program.

In July 2011, seven young people used hand tools and a chainsaw to cut down trees and damage park furniture at Kambah Pool and Tharwa Sandwash. The offenders, their parents , police and park rangers were given an opportunity to address the impact of their vandalism through the restorative justice program and as result the young people agreed to assemble new picnic tables, collect rubbish and plant new trees under the guidance of park rangers.   They also made a financial donation to the National Parks Association.

This shows how restorative justice can ensure young people truly face up to the consequences of their actions and make amends for the harm they have caused others and the broader community.

The restorative justice unit has been in operation since 2005 and has seen 1220 referrals involving 2900 offences, 1500 young offenders and 2170 victims.

Congratulations to the team at restorative justice unit and the difference they are making in reducing repeat offending and helping young people face up to the consequences of their actions in a practical and meaningful way.

SC

A new shed for Tidbinbilla RFS

The new Tidbinbilla RFS Shed

Today I joined with the volunteers of Tidbinbilla RFS Brigade to mark the opening of their new shed (station).

After spending 30 years in the old shed just down Paddys River Road it was great to see the brigade take possession of the new $2.1 million facility at its new location at the entrance to Birrigai Education Centre in the Tidbinbilla Valley.

Tidbinbilla Brigade is one of the ACT’s oldest RFS brigades with a history stretching back over 50 years.  The Brigade provides essential wildfire response to many rural properties, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, Corin Forest and even the nearby Tidbinbilla Deep Space Tracking Station!

The new shed includes 4 vehicle bays, training and office space and modern toilets, shower. locker room and kitchen area.  Much more than just a shed, Tidbinbilla RFS is a modern RFS station which can meet the many needs of the RFS and the local community in times of emergency and in ongoing training.

Congratulations to Tidbinbilla RFS Brigade and here’s to another 50 years!

SC

Checking out the three new medium tankers for Molonglo, Southern and Jerrabomberra Brigades with (l to r ) Jamie Lankford, Peter Wolfe and Dave Tunbridge