The Government is spending $100m on green investments in Australia, and more could be coming in, after the carbon tax was scrapped.
The announcement came as the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Andrew Robb said the Government’s climate change action plan would see Australia achieve its 2030 climate target by 2020.
It is the first step in a series of new initiatives that will see the Government use $1.5 billion of concessional government funds to finance new green projects.
The Government has been working to put more resources into the environment and its climate change strategy, with a new Environment Minister, Josh Frydenberg, pledging to “take the greenest possible path to deliver a climate-resilient Australia”.
The announcement is the latest in a string of moves to create green infrastructure for Australia, with new roads and other projects to be announced by the Government over the next few months.
In December the Government announced $10m for green infrastructure projects across the country, with $10 million of that amount to be allocated to the Northern Territory, with another $5m to be spent in Western Australia.
Mr Robb said at the time the Government had not yet set a timeframe for the new green infrastructure, but he was confident the Northern Territories would receive its first of three major green infrastructure contracts in the next two years.
“This is just the beginning of our new climate investment strategy, and we’re excited to see the Northern Australia Government’s commitment to invest in green infrastructure,” Mr Robb told ABC Radio’s AM program.
“We are confident it will create jobs, and that we’ll be able to produce an economy that is resilient in the face of climate change.”
New road infrastructure Mr Robb was also keen to stress that the Government would not be using funds to build roads or other infrastructure, as the Government was in the process of doing that.
He said it was “a lot more complicated than just making a road, because you have to put a network in place, you have infrastructure to be able that network works”.
“The infrastructure is going to have to be well-connected to the local economy, so that when we do have flooding, the roads can still get repaired, the pipes can get connected and people can go about their daily lives.” “
It is important for the Government to have the infrastructure to make sure that people are protected, and the infrastructure is good enough for the climate to function, and it’s good enough to have a network that’s going to work in the future,” Mr Robinson said.
“The infrastructure is going to have to be well-connected to the local economy, so that when we do have flooding, the roads can still get repaired, the pipes can get connected and people can go about their daily lives.”
He said the government would be focusing on developing an infrastructure plan that was sustainable, with the government prioritising infrastructure that could be built on top of existing infrastructure.
The Minister also said the new infrastructure would be a “key component” to the Government planning for the 2030 climate targets, but that it was not yet known how much the new investments would cost.
The new infrastructure will be “designed to be environmentally and economically sound and to be cost-effective for all Australians”, Mr Robb added.
“To achieve this, the Government will use concessional financing, which is not a new concept for the Federal Government.
It has been used before in the past, to fund the construction of roads and highways, but the Government has also used concessional funding to build a rail network, and a lot of the new rail infrastructure that we’re building will also have a concessional element.”
New energy infrastructure The Minister said the State Government was working with the Commonwealth to develop a new generation of renewable energy infrastructure.
He told AM the Government wanted to use “the best available technologies” to provide a reliable and efficient energy supply for Australians.
“One of the challenges that we have is that renewable energy, for instance, is intermittent,” Mr Powell said.