WA State Budget aims to drive low-carbon future across state

low-carbon

The WA government is boosting Western Australia’s prosperous low-carbon future with a $652 million investment in the 2022-23 State Budget. 

This includes an additional $500 million for the Climate Action Fund that was unveiled by the state government last year, taking the total to $1.25 billion. 

“Our strong budget management gives us the capacity to deliver more funding to support new and exciting initiatives that will protect our environment,” WA premier and treasurer Mark McGowan said. 

“All of these initiatives will set up WA’s future and ensure the unique environments found right around our state are protected for future generations.” 

The Climate Action Fund invests in sustainable WA jobs and industry innovation while protecting and enhancing the state’s unique environmental heritage values and assets, supporting the transition to net zero by 2050. 

“As a government, we have an ambitious environmental agenda centred on reducing carbon emissions and enhancing protection for our unique natural environment,” Climate Action minister Reece Whitby said. 

“We know we are an energy intensive state, and we know that this is the time we need to act on climate change. This funding shows that we are committed to a low-carbon future for Western Australia.” 

A $59.3 million Clean Energy Car Fund will be created, which will provide 10,000 rebates of $3,500 to Western Australians that buy a new electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicle up to a value of $70,000. 

This Fund will also invest $22.6 million in new charging infrastructure to expand WA’s electric vehicle charging network, including: 

  • $10 million to support not-for-profits and small and medium-sized businesses with grants of up to 50 per cent of installing charging infrastructure; 
  • $5 million to support local governments to install charging infrastructure by providing grants of up to 50 per cent of the installation cost; 
  • $4 million for the Public Transport Authority to trial the installation of electric vehicle recharging infrastructure at four train stations, providing up to 20 bays per car park with commuter charging access; and 
  • more than $2.9 million in eight new charging stations across four locations on a section of the National Highway One, between Norseman and Eucla to ensure WA’s charging network extends to South Australia and is the longest in the world. 

A further $31 million has been allocated for climate action research and planning to support various initiatives to assist WA government agencies to reduce carbon emissions. 

This $31 million includes funding to: 

  • develop and implement strategies to reduce emissions and transition the agriculture, freight and regional heavy transport industries to net zero as part of the Sectoral Emissions Reduction Strategies; 
  • deliver more carbon farming projects on Government managed land; 
  • develop a Carbon Farming Industry Development Plan; 
  • climate risk assessments, reporting and adaptation planning for government agencies; 
  • fund specialist research to inform the strategy to transition the Public Transport Authority’s bus fleet to electric vehicles; and 
  • expand the Western Australian Carbon Dioxide Geological Storage Atlas. 

The State Budget also includes a $62 million commitment that will see renewables power 75 per cent of Rottnest Island’s energy needs and upgrade water assets to enhance the holiday destination’s infrastructure and support expanded growth. 

$30 million from the boosted Climate Action Fund has also been allocated to the Just Transition Plan to create a new program to assist regional communities to transition to new industries when native forest logging ends in 2024. This takes the total amount committed to the Native Forest Just Transition Plan to $80 million. 

In addition to the $500 million boost to the Climate Action Fund, the 2022-23 State Budget also includes funding for further environmental protection initiatives, including: 

  • $3.3 million for the industry-funded Port Hedland Ambient Air Quality Monitoring project; 
  • $3.1 million to support the delivery of the Gnangara Groundwater Allocation Plan; 
  • $3.3 million for the implementation of the soon-to-be-released Native Vegetation Policy Implementation; 
  • $2.6 million to support the establishment of the Exmouth Gulf Coordinating Body; 
  • a further $1.6 million for the Murujuga Rock Art Strategy; and 
  • $800,000 for the marine research and management planning associated with the proposed Exmouth Gulf Marine Park. 

A further $19.9 million has also been allocated for the WA government’s Plan for Our Parks initiative, to implement joint management arrangements with the Traditional Owners of the proposed Matuwa Kurarra Kurarra National Park and the Lake Carnegie Nature Reserve. The Plan for Our Parks initiative aims to create five million hectares of new national parks, marine parks and other conservation reserves. 

For more information, visit https://www.ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au. 

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