ACT Election Candidate Survey - ACT Greens

ACT Peak Oil has sent a survey to ACT Election candidates. This is the response from the ACT Greens, sent in after the election. It shows a very good understanding of the issues.

  1. How would you address the need for food security in the ACT?
  2. The Greens call for the development of a Food Security Plan for the ACT and local region by the end of 2009, as we recognise the potential for Peak Oil and Climate Change to affect the short term supply of food from Canberra's region, largely through increased freight costs . The plan would be developed in consultation with food growers, suppliers, transport companies and retailers. The plan would look at supplying food to Canberra from the local region and using different types of transport. The plan would also contain options to increase the amounts of fruits and vegetables grown by residents in backyard and community gardens, and so the Greens are concerned to maintain people's ability to water their fruit trees and vegetable gardens within any water restriction regime. These options could be implemented either slowly or rapidly, depending on the outlook for oil prices and supplies.

  3. How can the ACT deal with public transport equitably, given that petrol is going to go up in price and current urban design is planned around private cars?
  4. The Greens see that in the context of Peak Oil public transport will require massive improvement. The Greens will develop a robust sustainable transport plan for the ACT, including the development of a mass transit system between all major town centres in the ACT. One particular focus is ensuring that the new development of Molonglo has public transport infrastructure installed from the outset.

  5. What plans do you have to rapidly move the ACT to a low carbon/renewable energy economy?
  6. The Greens will legislate for a greenhouse gas reduction target of at least 35% below 1990 levels by 2020. The Greens want a Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET) of 15% by 2012 and 25% by 2020. In addition to supporting solar and other renewable energy feed-in tariffs, we support rolling out a solar energy and energy efficient retrofitting program for all houses, starting with low income households, and will support on-site renewable energy generation for large scale developments. Our full energy policy can be found at:

  7. In what ways can market mechanisms assist in preparing for high fuel prices and even fuel shortages, and in what ways can they inhibit?
  8. The Greens believe that markets, where they function freely, have an important role to play in the allocation of resources. However, governments have responsibility to regulate markets and to correct market failures. The Greens agree with the statement of Richard Heinberg on October 13 in his post "The Magic of the Market": "Price volatility discourages helpful societal responses....The only way to navigate the energy transition while avoiding societal collapse is through a planned process that takes charge of the price mechanism in a way that encourages adaptation to the ultimate reality of dwindling supply. "

  9. What are your ideas on diversifying the economy of the ACT and its region so as to reduce our dependence on long-distance freight for everyday items?
    Apart from Government, what sectors can the ACT economy afford to have less of, and what might it need more of?
  10. The Greens believe that the ACT Government plays an important role in diversifying and securing our economic base for the future. The government can do this by encouraging investment in local sustainable industries. The Greens are committed to the development by 2012 of a long-term strategic plan for the ACT economy that takes into account the effects of Peak Oil and climate change. The Greens see that all sectors can play a role in the development of a sustainable local economy. Our full industry policy can be found at:

  11. Are you concerned about the potential for ad-hoc policy responses (e.g.biofuel mandates) to do more harm than good? Will you prepare and publish far-sighted policy - that explicitly acknowledges Peak Oil - so as to avoid implementing panicked measures thrust upon you by doomed/opportunistic business sectors?
  12. Yes, the Greens are concerned about the potential for ad-hoc policy responses, as we have seen these time and again with respect to climate change, protecting biodiversity and the Murray Darling catchment. The Greens are committed to developing and publishing far-sighted policies that will help reduce pressure being put on the government by business sectors that have less foresight. The Greens believe that the development of foresight by all individuals and organisations can help us to successfully navigate the challenges ahead of us.