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The Coalition's plan for real action on the environment, climate change and heritage



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The Coalition’s Plan for Real Action on the

Environment, Climate Change and Heritage

THE COALITION’S PLAN FOR REAL ACTION ON ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND HERITAGE 2

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Coalition believes Australia should prepare for the great challenges of climate change and

preserving our environment and heritage through Real and Direct Action rather than talk.

In particular, the Coalition believes that with appropriate support and incentives, committed

individuals, communities, organisations and companies can help address these great environmental

challenges.

The Coalition has already released comprehensive policies on climate change, water conservation,

action for the Murray-Darling Basin and the protection of whales and dolphins. These policies offer

real opportunities to tackle climate change and environmental degradation on a national basis.

The Coalition’s Plan for Real Action on the Environment and Heritage is based on practical and

commonsense proposals.

The Coalition will help local communities clean up their environment, reduce emissions, deal with the

pressures of climate change and protect their heritage.

These local initiatives build on the Coalition’s major environmental announcements made earlier this

year and during the campaign:

• Action on Climate Change including the creation of a $2.55 billion (over the first four years)

Emissions Reduction Fund, additional funding for one million solar homes by 2020, clean

energy hubs, solar towns and solar schools, geothermal projects, studies into algal synthesis

and the planting of 20 million trees.

• Whale and Dolphin Protection through the establishment of a National Whale Stranding

Action Plan, increased dolphin research and international legal action to help stop Japanese

whaling.

• Action on Water Conservation including grants to community groups, schools or local

government for projects that capture and re-use storm water, as well as a major storm water

harvesting project in Adelaide.

• Action for the Murray-Darling Basin including implementation of the Basin Plan, $200 million

to extend the Strengthening Basin Communities program, major investments in irrigation

infrastructure, the purchase of 150 billion litres of water for the Lower lakes and Coorong and

the creation of a $330 million fund to secure future water supplies.

The Coalition’s Plan for Real Local Action on the Environment and Heritage will:

1. Establish a ‘Green Army’

The Coalition will establish a 15,000-strong environmental workforce to tackle local and

regional environmental priorities.

THE COALITION’S PLAN FOR REAL ACTION ON ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND HERITAGE 3

2. Once-in-a-Century Replenishment of our Soils: Green Carbon Initiative

The Coalition will provide $10 million to help train farmers to reduce emissions and increase

carbon through soils and vegetation so as to maximise results from the Emissions Reduction

Fund.

3. A National Energy Efficiency Partnership

The Coalition’s National Energy Efficiency Partnership will set voluntary energy efficiency

targets for Australia’s top 500 commercial energy consumers to improve energy efficiency

standards in large premises.

4. The Global Rainforest Recovery Plan

The Coalition will promote an international agreement for a 50 percent reduction in the 8 billion

tonnes of annual CO2 emissions from rainforest destruction.

5. Landcare Recovery Programme

The Coalition will radically simplify Landcare for local groups and re-focus it on local projects

run by local groups.

6. Community Clean-Up Grants

The Coalition will provide $9 million for Community Clean-Up Grants which will fund at

least 900 local projects with $1 million in additional funding to support the work of Clean Up

Australia and Keep Australia Beautiful.

7. Tamar River Clean-Up

The Coalition will provide $2.5 million towards a major dredging programme for the Tamar

River.

8. Swan River Recovery Programme

The Coalition will provide $1 million in funding towards wildlife recovery, weed management

and river improvement as part of the Swan River Recovery Programme.

9. Top End Cane Toad Clean-Up

The Coalition will provide $1 million towards research and deployment of biological control

mechanisms and the practical work of the Toad Busters movement or similar organisations.

10. Kimberley Cane Toad Clean-Up

The Coalition will provide $1 million towards control of cane toads in the Kimberley through

groups such as Kimberley Toad Busters.

11. Dandenong Ranges Wildlife Recovery, Weed Management and Fuel Reduction

Programme

The Coalition will provide $3 million towards wildlife recovery, weed management and fuel

reduction in the Dandenong Ranges under the guidance of a local steering group. In addition,

the Coalition will seek National Heritage listing of the public parklands within the Ranges.

12. Greater Western Sydney Conservation Corridor

The Coalition will provide $15 million towards a Greater Western Sydney Conservation Corridor.

THE COALITION’S PLAN FOR REAL ACTION ON ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND HERITAGE 4

13. Great Barrier Reef and Crown of Thorns Protection Plan

The Coalition’s Great Barrier Reef and Crown of Thorns Protection Plan will allocate $3 million

to assist farmers and community groups to reduce nutrient run-off into catchments that flow

into the Great Barrier Reef. In addition, we will provide $2 million towards establishing a Crown

of Thorns Starfish Eradication Plan.

14. Dugong and Turtle Protection Plan

The Coalition will commit $2.6 million to work with Indigenous communities to help protect

the dugong and turtle populations of North Queensland and to establish Indigenous Ranger,

marine debris and anti-poaching enforcement programmes.

15. International Conservation of Endangered Species

The Coalition will provide $0.4 million for the Thin Green Line Foundation’s work and will

engage directly with the Indonesian Government to help protect the endangered orang-utans of

South East Asia.

16. Australian National Heritage Icons Program

The Coalition will establish a National Icons programme to designate and promote national

environmental and heritage icons.

17. Historic Matthew Flinders chart

The Coalition will work cooperatively with the United Kingdom Government to have Captain

Matthew Flinders’ original 1804 chart of Australia from his 1801-03 circumnavigation of the

continent in HMS Investigator returned to Australia on permanent loan. It will be placed on

public display at the National Museum of Australia.

18. Changi Wall Heritage Project

The Coalition will provide $0.5 million in funding to establish a memorial wall at the Changi

Museum in Singapore listing the names of all known Australian service personnel imprisoned

in Changi during World War II.

19. Community Heritage Grants

A Coalition Government will invest $1 million to support our heritage through grants of up to

$10,000 for community history and heritage organisations for the conservation, development

and exhibition of cultural heritage.

20. Solar Continent Policy

A Coalition Government will build on the Direct Action Plan on the Environment and Climate

Change and will establish a $1.1 billion Solar Continent Policy comprising:

• A $1 billion Million Solar Roofs Programme for Australian homes, including a Community

Solar Programme.

• The $100 million Solar Towns and Solar Schools Programme.

THE COALITION’S PLAN FOR REAL ACTION ON ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND HERITAGE 5

HOW LABOR HAS FAILED

The Labor Government has been responsible for catastrophic failure in environmental policy through

its disastrous Home Insulation Programme, the failed Low Emissions Plan for Renters, the Green

Loans scandal and the Solar Homes debacle.

The Home Insulation Programme is one of the worst examples of Commonwealth mismanagement

in our nation’s history. To date, there have been almost 200 house fires, 1500 potentially deadly

electrified roofs and 240,000 either dangerous or dodgy roofs. Most tragically, 4 young lives were lost.

In addition to the human tragedy, almost $1 billion dollars has been set aside to repair the damage. For

these reasons a Coalition Government will hold a Royal Commission into the disastrous Home

Insulation Programme and will inspect every home1.

In addition, three independent inquiries have confirmed2 that the Government was also responsible for

gross dereliction of duty through the Green Loans scandal. The inquiries identified breaches of both

guidelines and legislation and allegations of kickbacks. In addition homeowners and assessors were

left out of pocket due to the appalling mismanagement of Peter Garrett and the Rudd/Gillard Cabinet.

The Labor Government talked of energy efficiency and renewable energy but destabilised and

threatened the future of these very industries. They rolled back or gutted highly successful Coalition

programs such as Green Corps, Community Water Grants and the Solar Rebate Scheme. Landcare was

largely taken away from local communities.

Labor claimed that passing the ETS before Copenhagen was a fundamental test of leadership.

However, it was the now Prime Minister, Ms Gillard, who pressured Mr Rudd to back away from the

ETS3, even though in December 2009 she solemnly said that ‘delay is denial’.4

Even now, with the election campaign in full swing, the Prime Minister has passed the buck to a

randomly-chosen Citizens’ Assembly, rather than the people’s elected assembly - the Parliament5.

Clearly, Labor wants to impose higher electricity prices through its new tax, but simply does not have

the courage to say so.

The Labor record is exceptional only in its degree of failure. From the disaster and tragedy of the Home

Insulation debacle to the failures of the Green Loans Programme, incompetence and mismanagement

are the hallmarks of three years of Labor.

1. Shadow Environment Minister, Greg Hunt (interview, 15 July 2010), ABC radio PM: http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2010/s2954849.htm 2. These were: (1) Independent Inquiry into the Green Loans Programme: Review of procurement processes and contractual arrangements by Ms Patricia Faulkner AO (2) Internal Audit Review of the Procurement Practices in the Green Loans Programme produced by Protiviti, and (3) Review of the Green Loans Programme produced by Resolution Consulting Services: Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Reviews of Green Loan Programme: http://www.climatechange.gov.au/media/whats-new/green-loans.aspx . There is a performance audit by the Commonwealth Auditor-General still in progress and expected to report after the election. 3. Samantha Maiden. ‘Gillard says she led push for delay on ETS’, The Australian, 28 June 2010: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/gillard-says-she-led-push-for-delay-on-ets/story-e6frg6n6-1225884955922 4. Then Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard (press conference, 2 December 2009), transcript: http://www.deewr.gov.au/Ministers/Gillard/Media/Transcripts/Pages/Article_091202_160820.aspx 5. Prime Minister Julia Gillard, speech (Speech, ‘Moving Forward on Climate Change’, 23 July 2010: http://www.alp.org.au/federal-government/news/speech--julia-gillard,--moving-forward-together-on/

THE COALITION’S PLAN FOR REAL ACTION ON ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND HERITAGE 6

THE COALITION’S PLAN FOR REAL ACTION ON THE ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND HERITAGE

In February 2010, the Coalition announced its Direct Action Plan on the Environment and Climate

Change. It showed that instead of an Emissions Trading Scheme - which is a great big new tax

on electricity and groceries - there are practical, affordable and effective ways of improving our

environment and reducing our carbon emissions without harming the economy.

Building on the foundations of the Direct Action Plan, the Coalition has developed practical proposals

to protect our environment, reduce the growth in Australia’s carbon emissions and safeguard our

heritage.

Building on these previously-announced policies, the Coalition will implement a further

comprehensive range of initiatives to deliver real action on the environment, climate change and

heritage.

Specifically, the Coalition will:

1. Introduce a ‘Green Army’

The Coalition will provide $400 million over the forward estimates to establish the Green

Army that was announced by the Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, earlier in 2010.

This standing environmental workforce will grow to be 15,000 strong. It will comprise short-term trainees, plus regular workers and supervisors. This workforce will be capable of

supplying the skilled, motivated and sustained attention that large-scale environmental

remediation needs.

The Green Army will be available on an ongoing basis (over and above the existing efforts of

councils and national parks) and supplemented by volunteers to tackle the local and regional

environmental priorities that most urgently need willing hands to do the job. Examples of local

projects include:

• Boardwalks to protect wetlands;

• Mangrove planting; and

• Creek and riverbed revegetation.

In particular, local Climate Action Groups will be encouraged to put forward proposals for

direct action to reduce local emissions. This could be through activities such as local

re-vegetation programmes. Shire Councils will also be encouraged to submit projects and to

partner in project co-ordination.

Green Army participants will be paid a training wage of $300 per week, while co-ordinators will

be paid an annual salary equivalent of up to $50,000.

THE COALITION’S PLAN FOR REAL ACTION ON ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND HERITAGE 7

The Green Army will be Australia’s largest deployment of young people on behalf of the

environment. It will be the first time that we have approached environmental remediation with

the same seriousness and level of organisation that we have brought to dealing with bushfires

or other local and regional emergencies.

2. Once in a Century Replenishment of our Soils: Green Carbon Initiative

Green Carbon is an important element in the Coalition’s plan to achieve a reduction of 140

million tonnes of CO2 per year.

The Coalition will appoint two recognised leaders in the natural sciences to lead the Green

Carbon Initiative, which will cover soil carbon, carbon sequestration through pasture, semi-arid

scrub regeneration and carbon storage and selected reafforestation in non-prime agricultural

lands.

The Green Carbon initiative will outline ways to ensure domestic inclusion of soil carbons and

other forms of Green Carbon in Australia’s emissions reduction framework.

As part of the Green Carbon Initiative the Coalition will provide $10 million to the Green Skills

for Farmers Initiative to assist farmers reduce carbon emissions and increase carbon in their

soils and vegetation.

This programme will commence on 1 July 2011 and will allocate grants of up to $10,000 to

individual farmers to pursue Green Carbon training courses.

Funding will be drawn from the Coalition’s Direct Action Plan on the Environment and Climate

Change.

Farmers will be required to meet the costs of the programme through verified Green Carbon

improvements to their land at a valuation of $10 per tonne of CO2 sequestered.

3. National Energy Efficiency Partnership

The Coalition will establish a National Energy Efficiency Partnership to improve building

energy efficiency standards. The Partnership will set voluntary energy efficiency targets for

Australia’s top 500 commercial energy consumers.

Cities accommodate 80 percent of Australia’s population and directly or indirectly produce over

75 percent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Emissions reduction presents many opportunities for industry, households and governments

to embed sustainability principles in our homes, commercial buildings and workplaces, and

promote industry innovation for greening our cities.

The Coalition will work with a range of industry groups including the Clean Energy Council, the

Energy Efficiency Council, the Green Buildings Council and the Property Council to develop

complementary energy efficiency measures.

According to the Clean Energy Council, a combination of clean energy measures and a CO2

abatement price of $15 per tonne could yield an annual CO2 emissions reduction of 20-30

million tonnes by 2020.

THE COALITION’S PLAN FOR REAL ACTION ON ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND HERITAGE 8

4. Global Rainforest Recovery Plan

The Coalition will promote an international agreement to achieve a Global Rainforest Recovery

Plan aimed at a 50 percent reduction in the 8 billion tonnes of annual CO2 emissions from

rainforest destruction..

The Coalition will promote a target of four billion tonnes of CO2 reduction per annum by 2020

through preservation of the great rainforests of the world. This will be achieved by seeking to

include Green Carbon within current and future international agreements.

5. Landcare Recovery Programme

The Coalition will implement an immediate refocussing of the Landcare and Caring for Country

programmes to reflect local and regional priorities. Within six months of forming government,

the Coalition will release guidelines based on consultation with CMAs, NRM Boards and

Landcare Groups that will give priority to the following principles:

• Local - Landcare and Caring for Country programme funding will be overwhelmingly

re-focussed on local organisations and projects rather than being diverted into shadow

funding for State Environment Departments.

• Simple - There will be a radical simplification of the grant application and reporting

process.

• Long Term - Emphasis will be given to triennial funding to allow for continuity of funding

and projects.

The Coalition will maintain existing funding from across the Landcare and Caring for Country

models but will seek to distribute up to 90 per cent of future allocations at local and regional

levels through a direct action national Landcare model.

6. Community Clean-Up Grants

The Coalition will provide $9 million over three years for a Community Clean-Up Grants

programme, funding at least 900 local projects.

A Coalition Government will commit also commit an additional $1 million ($500,000 each) to

support the work of Clean Up Australia and Keep Australia Beautiful over a 3-year period

beginning on 1 July 2011.

A Coalition Government will take the lead, through the Council of Australian Governments, to

discourage littering and dumping.

7. Tamar River Clean-Up

The Coalition will provide $2.5 million towards a major dredging programme for the Tamar River.

The Tamar is the lifeblood of Launceston, the Tamar Valley and North-East Tasmania, with silt

accumulation hurting regional recreation and tourism. The Coalition will help to implement

the recommendations of the 2009 report commissioned by the Launceston City Council,

conditional on matched funding being forthcoming from the State Government for both the

initial and ongoing efforts to keep silt at bay in the Tamar.

THE COALITION’S PLAN FOR REAL ACTION ON ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND HERITAGE 9

8. Swan River Recovery Programme

The Swan River is one of Australia’s finest and most culturally historic urban rivers. The Swan

River is under stress from urban population, water pollution and the loss of habitat for native

species.

The Coalition will provide $1 million towards a wildlife recovery, weed management and river

improvement programme, to be developed under the guidance of a Local Steering Group. The

funding will be to assist weed eradication ($500,000), practical community action ($400,000)

and river awareness through local education ($100,000).

9. Top End Cane Toad Clean-Up Programme

The cane toad population is progressively extending further west across Australia.

In order to provide a long-term solution, a Coalition government will provide $1 million towards

a Cane Toad Clean-Up Program.

We will allocate $750,000 to support research into and deployment of biological control

mechanisms on the advice of the Chief Scientist.

We will spend $250,000 to support the practical work of the Toad Busters movement or similar

organisations on the basis of submissions aimed at protecting High Conservation areas from

cane toad infestation.

10. Kimberley Cane Toad Clean-Up Programme

In addition to the Top End Cane Toad Programme, the Coalition is determined to do all that it

can to limit the spread of cane toads through the Kimberley.

A Coalition Government will provide $1 million towards a Kimberley Cane Toad Clean-Up

Programme. This Programme will work with Indigenous groups and Kimberley Toad Busters

on practical local measures to help stop and reverse the spread of cane toads through the

Kimberley.

11. Dandenong Ranges Wildlife Recovery, Weed Management and Fuel Reduction

Programme

The Dandenong Ranges comprise some of Australia’s finest bush and cultural heritage. They

combine natural beauty with one of the highest fire dangers faced by a significant residential

population anywhere in Australia.

In particular, the fire danger is exacerbated by the presence of heavy weed populations and fuel

overloads.

The Coalition will therefore provide $3 million to a wildlife recovery, weed management and

fuel reduction programme to be developed under the guidance of a local steering group. Any

fuel reduction measures will be carried out by State authorities.

We will also seek National Heritage listing of the existing public parklands within the Ranges

as a priority. The final form of the application will be developed in conjunction with the local

community.

THE COALITION’S PLAN FOR REAL ACTION ON ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND HERITAGE 10

12. Greater Western Sydney Conservation Corridor

The Coalition will provide $15 million towards a Greater Western Sydney Conservation Corridor.

This is part of a broader vision for Western Sydney comprising 1 million trees, 4 Green Army

teams and the once in a century chance to establish a conservation corridor which will be in

place for future generations.

13. Great Barrier Reef and Crown of Thorns Protection Plan

The Great Barrier Reef is Australia’s greatest natural asset and is a biological ark. The Coalition

will therefore strive to protect the Great Barrier Reef and its magnificent coral kingdom as

unique national and world environmental assets.

A Coalition Government will help to protect the Great Barrier Reef by supporting local

communities to take direct action to preserve this magnificent icon.

In addition to existing funding, a Coalition Government will commit $3 million in grants of

up to $50,000 to individual farms or community groups to carry out nutrient run-off reduction

programmes. These run-off reduction programmes will improve the long term health of the

Great Barrier Reef.

In addition a further $2 million will be invested with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

Authority to implement a Crown of Thorns Eradication Plan in consultation with the Australian

Marine Park Tourism Operators Association and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

14. Dugong and Turtle Protection Plan

The Coalition will move quickly and constructively to implement a Dugong and Turtle

Protection Plan.

The Plan will work to protect the majestic dugong and turtle populations of Far North

Queensland and the Torres Strait Islands from the threats of poaching, illegal hunting and

marine debris.

These magnificent creatures are under stress from practices that threaten the relationship

between the animals and the traditional communities that have been their natural

conservators.

As part of this important environmental and marine conservation task, the Coalition will

maintain existing funding and will additionally provide a total of $2.6 million for dugong and

turtle protection, comprising:

• $1.6 million for specialised Indigenous Ranger Programmes for marine conservation

along the Far North Queensland Coast and for strengthened enforcement and compliance

through supporting additional officers on the water and on land to crack down on dugong

and turtle poaching and the illegal trade in dugong and turtle meat.

• $1 million towards helping to clean up marine debris along the Far North Queensland

Coast, the Torres Strait Islands and in the Coral Sea. Marine debris - especially ‘ghost nets’

- provide significant risks to dugongs and turtles and we will take steps to clean-up these

threats. We will consult, support and work with Indigenous communities in dealing with

these threats.

THE COALITION’S PLAN FOR REAL ACTION ON ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND HERITAGE 11

15. International Conservation of Endangered Species

One of the most significant threats to the international conservation of endangered species

is violence against park rangers in developing countries. The Thin Green Line Foundation

is based in Australia and has been successful in the support and training of park rangers

internationally. The Coalition will therefore contribute $400,000 towards supporting this work.

A Coalition will also work with the Indonesian Government to help protect the endangered

orang-utans of South East Asia - rare creatures of the rainforest much loved by Australians. In

particular, we will adopt standards to crack down on the practice of importing illegally-sourced

rainforest timber to protect critical habitat for the orang-utan.

16. Australian National Heritage Icons Program

The Coalition will provide $200,000 towards an internationally recognised Australian National

Heritage Icons Programme.

This will fund a National Icons website and awards programme, which will designate and

promote national icons annually in the categories of: landscapes, coasts, trails, monuments

and rivers. It will also promote and recognise work done by organisations and communities to

rescue and renovate places of national significance.

17. Historic Matthew Flinders chart

The Coalition will provide $200,000 towards bringing home a key part of Australia’s historical

heritage. Captain Matthew Flinders’ original 1804 chart of Australia from his 1801-03

circumnavigation of the continent in HMS Investigator - the first time the modern name of our

continent and nation was ever officially used - is a national treasure that should be displayed

in Australia.

A Coalition Government will work cooperatively with the United Kingdom Government to have

Flinders’ chart returned to Australia on permanent loan and placed on public display at the

National Museum of Australia in Canberra.

18. Changi Wall Heritage Project

The Coalition will provide $500,000 towards the establishment of a Changi Wall Heritage

Project at the Changi Museum in Singapore.

Little remains of the original Changi prison, a place where thousands of Australians and our

allies suffered during years of captivity in World War II.

The Wall would list the names of all known Australian service personnel who were imprisoned,

injured or who lost their lives in Changi during World War II.

The design and list of names would be a joint project between the Australian War Memorial

and the Changi War Memorial and would be subject to the advice of the RSL and the Singapore

Government.

19. Community Heritage Grants

The Coalition will support efforts to preserve our history at a local level, given that community

heritage groups around Australia play an important role in collecting, researching, recording

and preserving our heritage.

THE COALITION’S PLAN FOR REAL ACTION ON ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND HERITAGE 12

This important work is generally done by volunteers who can invest considerable time and

personal cost in their endeavours.

A Coalition Government will invest a further $1 million to support our heritage through

grants up to $10,000 for community history and heritage organisations for the conservation,

development and exhibition of cultural heritage.

20. Solar Continent Policy

A Coalition Government will build on the Direct Action Policy and will establish a

$1.1 billion Solar Continent Policy, over 10 years.

This vision for the future of Australian clean energy will comprise:

• A $1 billion ‘Million Solar Roofs Programme’ for Australian homes, including a

Community Solar Programme. This will allow Scout Groups, sporting clubs and other

not-for-profit groups, such as church groups, to access the Solar Roofs Programme for up

to 10% of the available panels (or 100,000 rebates through the life of the programme).

• The $100 million Solar Towns and Solar Schools Programme.

THE COALITION’S PLAN FOR REAL ACTION ON ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND HERITAGE 13

SUMMARY OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES ALREADY RELEASED

These policies complement and add to the Coalition’s suite of environmental policies which have

already been released. These policies include:

Direct Action Plan on the Environment and Climate Change

Earlier this year, the Coalition announced a Direct Action Plan on the Environment and Climate

Change. Under this plan, the Coalition will:

1. Establish a $10.5 billion Emissions Reduction Fund

The Fund will commence operation in 2011-12 with an initial allocation of $300 million,

increasing to $500 million in 2012-13, $750 million in 2013-14 and $1 billion by 2014-15. The total

allocation under the fund to 2020 will be over $10.5 billion, including $2.55 billion over the first

four years.

The Emissions Reduction Fund will provide incentives for the lowest cost emissions reduction.

Emissions savings will be verified independently and the Commonwealth will then purchase

the lowest cost verified emissions.

The fund will provide incentives for activities such as forestry, energy efficiency and recycling,

as well as helping to clean up the oldest and most inefficient power stations.

It is a significant investment in direct action that will deliver what’s needed to reduce our

emissions by 140 million tonnes per annum by 2020.

2. Create an additional One Million Solar Roofs

The Coalition will promote the use of solar energy by Australian families and households. It will

ensure at least one million additional solar homes or community centres by 2020.

It will provide an extra $1000 rebate for either solar panels or solar hot water systems. The

programme will be capped at 100,000 rebates per year.

• The Coalition will establish a Community Solar Programme as part of the Million Solar

Roofs Initiative. This will allow Scout Groups, sporting clubs and other not-for-profit groups,

such as church groups, to access the Solar Roofs Programme for up to 10% of the available

panels (or 100,000 rebates through the life of the programme).

3. Create New Clean Energy Jobs

The Coalition recognises the potential for clean energy to underpin future employment growth

in key regional areas.

In addition to potential support from the Emissions Reduction Fund, we will provide

$60 million to develop the La Trobe Valley, Hunter and Central Queensland regions as Clean

Energy Employment Hubs to drive additional clean energy research and development.

THE COALITION’S PLAN FOR REAL ACTION ON ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND HERITAGE 14

4. Establish at least 25 Solar Towns and 100 Solar Schools Recognising the potential for solar power generation at a community level, the Coalition will allocate $100 million to a Solar Towns and Solar Schools initiative. Grants will be available on the basis of the greatest savings of CO2 per dollar of funding.

The programme will produce a minimum of 25 new Solar Towns and 100 new Solar Schools.

5. Create at least 25 new Geothermal & Tidal Towns The Coalition will provide $50 million to a Geothermal and Tidal Towns Initiative to support additional renewable energy opportunities at community level. The programme will produce a minimum of 25 new Geothermal and Tidal towns.

6. Support research into the potential of Renewable Fuels A Coalition Government will conduct a one-year testing process to ensure that algal energy and biofuels are both effective in reduction of quantifiable levels of CO2 and that they will not distort the Australian food chain and food production processes.

The Coalition will allocate $5 million to this analysis, subject to matching funding from within the Algal Energy and biofuels sector. As part of the Biofuels and Fuel Efficiency Initiative, the Coalition will also allocate $0.5 million to create a National Fuel Academy to oversee driver education in emissions reduction through driver efficiency training.

7. Restore the ‘Greenhouse Friendly’ Programme A Coalition Government will provide $10 million over five years to restore the ‘Greenhouse Friendly’ programme. The potential extension of the programme beyond this period will be reviewed after three years.

8. Building Smart Grids to clean up our Cities and Support Renewable Energy A Coalition Government will commit $2 million for a major study into the use and application of High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission within Australia, funded from our Solar Towns and Schools initiative.

The study will examine the potential for land recovery resulting from the undergrounding of major transmission lines. Places power lines underground would allow existing overhead powerline corridors to be reclaimed for urban housing and public parklands. The study will also examine the potential for connecting the great renewable energy resources to the grid.

9. Creating Green Corridors: 20 Million Tree Initiative A Coalition Government will commit to the planting of 20 million additional trees by 2020. The trees will re-establish urban forests and green corridors. The initiative will be funded as a component of the Green Army Programme.

10. Boosting Emerging Renewable Technologies The Coalition supports a 20 per cent Renewable Energy Target. As part of that target, the Coalition will create a band within the Renewable Energy Target for emerging technologies such as solar fields, geothermal, tidal and wave projects expected to generate over 10 megawatts of electricity.

The band will be for up to 6000 gigawatt hours by 2020. Implementation terms will be determined with the Clean Energy Council and other representatives from the renewables

sector.

THE COALITION’S PLAN FOR REAL ACTION ON ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND HERITAGE 15

The Coalition will also ensure that Waste Coal Mine Gas is included in the register of

accredited energy sources for generation of Renewable Energy Credits, on top of the existing

Renewable Energy Target

Whale and Dolphin Protection Plan

The Coalition has recently announced a Whale and Dolphin Protection Plan. Under this plan, the

Coalition will:

1. Implement a National Whale Stranding Action Plan

A Coalition Government will allocate $500,000 to a National Whale Stranding Action Plan to

identify the most effective means to prevent and respond to whale strandings on our coastline.

2. Support the Dolphin Research Institute

The Coalition will provide $500,000 to help the Dolphin Research Institute in Victoria with its

important conservation work.

3. Take international legal action to help stop Japanese whaling

The Coalition will continue the process of international legal action against Japan. In particular,

it will seek an order preventing whale harvesting for scientific purposes and commercial

purposes.

A Strong Plan for Water Conservation

The Coalition has announced a $116.5 million Water Conservation Plan. Under this plan, the Coalition

will:

1. Introduce Water Conservation Targets

The Coalition will provide the National Water Commission with the powers to set strong

targets, by the end of 2012, for the capture and reuse of stormwater in all major cities.

2. Develop National Standard for the use of Stormwater in Potable Water Supplies

The Coalition will task the National Water Commission with developing a new National

Standard, based on the best available scientific evidence, to set quality controls for how

stormwater can be added to the potable water supply through existing pipes and infrastructure.

3. Report annually against Water Conservation Targets

The Coalition will not allow the states to fudge or obfuscate in meeting these targets to

reduce the flow stormwater out to sea. Following the setting of the targets, the National Water

Commission will be tasked with producing annual reports detailing progress against those

targets.

4. Provide Community Water Conservation Grants

The Coalition will establish a Community Water Conservation Grants Programme, with an

initial allocation of $100 million. This programme will provide competitive grants to community

groups, schools or local government for projects that will contribute to a variety of water

conservation projects including those that capture and reuse stormwater

5. Commence the ‘Waterproofing Eastern Adelaide’ project

The Coalition will provide $16.5 million towards stormwater harvesting in Adelaide.

THE COALITION’S PLAN FOR REAL ACTION ON ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND HERITAGE 16

Real Action for the Murray-Darling Basin

The Coalition has announced a comprehensive $751 million plan for real action for the Murray-Darling

Basin. Under this plan, the Coalition will:

1. Deliver the stalled 2007 Murray-Darling Basin Plan

The Coalition will get this comprehensive plan back on track, meeting deadlines and spending

the money already allocated wisely. The Coalition will release the draft Basin Plan within two

weeks of taking office.

2. Proceed with implementation of the Basin Plan without delay

The Coalition will proceed with implementation of the Basin Plan without delay according to

the processes outlined in the Water Act 2007.

3. Commence works to reengineer Menindee Lakes within twelve months

The Coalition is committed to the construction of the Menindee Lakes re-engineering program

and will finalise plans for this water saving project and publish a plan and timeline for its

implementation within six months of taking office.

4. Publicly release timelines and targets for the delivery of all state water savings projects

The Coalition will seek to provide greater certainty on how the government will assess any

premium paid for the social and community benefits that water-saving investments provide

and ensure that finite supplies of water are used as efficiently as possible to sustain regional

farming and regional communities. It will not tolerate inefficiency or unnecessary delays from

the states.

5. Re-plumb irrigation infrastructure

The Coalition is committed to real action to help modernise Australia’s irrigation systems and

will invest $300 million in on-farm irrigation infrastructure.

6. Undertake water buybacks in a manner consistent with the Basin Plan

The Coalition will take a more careful approach to purchasing water by undertaking water

purchases only in a manner consistent with the Basin Plan or, until its release, the draft

Basin Plan. Our approach will ensure that buybacks deliver not just the environmental flows

needed, but are undertaken in a manner that provides greater certainty to irrigators and the

communities in which they live, as well as value for money for taxpayers.

7. Release new guidelines for the process of water buybacks

To deal with issues of improved water use and land management practices, the Coalition will

release new guidelines for the water buyback scheme. Water buybacks will ensure that there

is a long-term sustainable future for irrigation communities related to reducing over-allocation

where evident and providing for environmental flows.

8. Commission an urgent study of the economic and social impacts of the draft Basin Plan

The Coalition will commission a study of the economic and social impacts of the draft

Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

THE COALITION’S PLAN FOR REAL ACTION ON ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND HERITAGE 17

The terms of reference for this review will ask the Commission and ABARE to model the

impacts of the draft Basin Plan, establish the opportunity cost of environmental water, provide

estimates of the value of environmental water in the Murray-Darling Basin and recommend

measures to implement sustainable diversion limits while optimising economic and social

considerations.

9. Give the Basin Community Committee direct input to the Minister and Ministerial Council

The Coalition will reconstitute the Basin Community Committee, reporting directly to the

Minister and the Ministerial Council, giving communities in the Basin more say over their

future.

10. Expand the scope and funding of the Strengthening Basin Communities program

The Coalition will expand both the scope and the funding available under the Strengthening

Basin Communities program. It assists Basin Communities expand their economic and

employment opportunities to create more resilient centres of commerce. The Coalition will

provide an additional $200 million to this programme.

11. Honour obligations to compensate irrigators for reductions in entitlements

The Coalition recognises that existing water entitlements constitute a property right that

should not be reduced without just compensation. To that end a Coalition Government would

commit to ‘bridge any gap’ between the eventual sustainable diversion limits and the amount

of water that has been saved through investments in water efficiencies and the purchase of

water entitlements from willing sellers

12. Reduce the red tape imposed on irrigators

The Coalition will reduce the red tape currently imposed on irrigator operators through

multiple and overlapping reporting requirements to the Australian Competition and Consumer

Commission, the Bureau of Meteorology, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, the Department

of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts and relevant state agencies.

13. Prioritise 2010-11 Environmental Water Holdings to raise water level in Lake Alexandrina

The Coalition will instruct the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder to give priority in

its allocations during 2010-11 to further raise the water level in Lake Alexandrina, with the aim

of providing freshwater to the Coorong. We estimate more than 100 billion litres should be

available through this process.

14. Purchase additional 150 billion litres of water in 2010-11 for Lower Lakes and Coorong

The Coalition will aim to purchase up to 150 billion litres of temporary water, with an additional

commitment of $20 million in a manner that minimises distortions in the temporary water

market from which it is purchased. This intervention by the Coalition will provide real and

effective assistance to the Lower Lakes and Coorong.

15. Seek Ministerial Council agreement to spill water from Lake Alexandrina into Coorong

Subject to exact flows and advice, the Coalition will release 100 billion litres from Lake

Alexandrina into the Coorong and Murray Mouth during 2010-11.

THE COALITION’S PLAN FOR REAL ACTION ON ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND HERITAGE 18

16. Create a fund to secure future water supplies

The Coalition will create a $330 million fund that will be available to secure Australia’s future

water supplies for productive purposes especially, but not exclusively, those within the fertile

lands of the Murray-Darling Basin.

A Coalition Government will use this fund to provide seed capital for new projects that expand

Australia’s water supplies or water efficiency to help our productive industries grow, despite

the reduced water likely to be available under the Basin Plan.

THE COALITION’S PLAN FOR REAL ACTION ON ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND HERITAGE 19

COSTINGS

The Coalition has previously released details of our Direct Action Plan on the Environment and

Climate Change as well as our policies for water conservation and the Murray-Darling Basin.

Details of these policies are available at www.liberal.org.au.

In addition to these policies, the Coalition will provide $444.4 million over the forward estimates

towards the further environmental initiatives outlined in this policy document.

Funding will be provided from the nearly $30 billion in recurrent savings that have been identified

by the Coalition over the forward estimates. These savings are a result of cutting Labor’s waste and

mismanagement and redirecting funding from inefficient and poorly performing Labor Government

programmes.

2010-11 $M 2011-12 $M

2012-13 $M 2013-14 $M

TOTAL $M

Green Army - 50 100 250 400

Community Clean-Up Grants and Clean Up Australia - 3.3 3.3 3.4 10

Tamar River Clean-Up - 0.5 1 1 2.5

Swan River Recovery Program

-

0.5 0.5 - 1

Top End Cane Toad Clean-Up - 0.5 0.5 - 1

Kimberley Cane Toad Clean-Up - 0.5 0.5 - 1

Dandenong Ranges Wildlife Recovery, Weed Management and Fuel Reduction Programme 0.5 1 1 0.5 3

Greater Western Sydney Conservation Corridor

- 5 5 5 15

Great Barrier Reef and Crown of Thorns Protection Plan - 1.5 1.5 2 5

Dugong and Turtle Protection Plan 0.6 1 1 - 2.6

International Conservation of Endangered Species - 0.1 0.15 0.15 0.4

Australian Heritage Icons Program - 0.06 0.06 0.08 0.2

Matthew Flinders Chart - 0.1 0.1 - 0.2

Changi Wall Heritage Project - 0.25 0.25 - 0.5

Community Heritage Grants - 0.3 0.3 0.4 1

Whale and Dolphin Protection Plan - 0.3 0.3 0.4 1

Authorised and printed by Brian Loughnane for the Liberal Party of Australia, Cnr Blackall and Macquarie Sts, BARTON ACT 2600.