OUR Independent guide to voting for our environment this election

Do political parties have a plan for the things you care about?

How much do you care about these three issues?
Turn the dials!

I don't care

I care a lot

Support clean energy

I don't care

I care a lot

Cut pollution

I don't care

I care a lot

Protect our reefs, rivers, forests and wildlife

How much you care:

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75%

How the parties compare:

Labor
62%
The Coalition
14%
Greens
95%
Xenophon
54%
Lazarus
71%

Click on each issue to see how the parties compare

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Privacy

Who is ACF?

The Australian Conservation Foundation is Australia’s national environment organisation.

We are a quarter of a million people strong. We are proudly independent, non-partisan and funded by donations from Australians.

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Authorised by Kelly O’Shanassy,
60 Leicester St Carlton, 3053
Charity ABN 22007498482

Based on policies announced before 27 June 2016

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Coalition

Here's how the Coalition rates against all 40 tests of success for our environment, with a detailed breakdown of weighting, scores and policy commitments.

Test 1. Policies to ensure clean renewables power 100% of Australia’s electricity by 2035, and 100% of all Australia’s energy before 2050?

Score

2 / 5

Comment

The Coalition supports the current RET, which will deliver 33,000 gigawatt hours of renewable energy by 2020 (equates to about 23 per cent of current electricity production). To be reviewed (per legislation) in 2020. Announced $1bn Clean Energy Innovation Fund "to encourage new technology to assist in the transition to clean energy". This funding was transferred from CEFC.

Announced development of Low Emissions Technology Roadmap to be led by the CSIRO. Through this work, CSIRO will highlight areas of potential growth in Australia’s clean technology sector, map the development of new emissions reduction technologies, and identify opportunities to be part of future global energy supply chains.

"We will build on our successful Solar Towns programme by investing $5 million in an expanded Solar Communities programme. Our commitment will deliver funding of up to $15,000 (including GST) to community groups for the installation of rooftop solar PV, solar hot water, and small scale renewables on community owned buildings. For the first time we will expand the programme to include battery storage systems. Our Solar Communities programme will mean practical support for local organisations, such as surf lifesaving clubs, scout halls, bowling clubs, YMCA centres, Men's Sheds, local historic societies, Country Women's Associations and community sports centres."

The Coalition will create a new $1 billion fund focused on improving reef water quality. The fund will provide up to $1 billion in debt and equity finance over 10 years for clean energy projects that help tackle climate change and improve water quality. The fund will be managed by the CEFC, and has been created by taking funding from the existing CEFC budget. Since this fund is simply a re-badging of existing CEFC funding it is not clear how it will deliver any additional clean energy projects beyond what was already possible through the CEFC. Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4


Test 2. Double the energy productivity of Australia’s economy by 2030?

Score

2 / 3

Comment

Released National Energy Productivity Plan with target to improve Australia’s energy productivity by 40 per cent between now and 2030.

"The Government will lower the threshold of the Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) Programme from 2,000 to 1,000 square meters, which will see an additional 1,000 commercial buildings now disclose their energy efficiency when they sell or lease their property. This will help inform purchasers and tenants of building energy costs, delivering more than $50 million in energy savings, and around 3.5 million tonnes of emission reductions over five years. This change will commence 1 July 2017."

"As Chair of the COAG Energy Council, the Coalition Government has also led the way in establishing new priorities for improving appliance efficiency through the Equipment Energy Efficiency (E3) programme." Source 1, Source 2


Test 3. Retain the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Australian Renewable Energy Agency with existing or additional resources?

Score

1.5 / 3

Comment

Committed to retain and reinvigorate the CEFC and ARENA. Established the $1 billion Clean Energy Innovation Fund, jointly managed by CEFC and ARENA, after attempt to abolish both was blocked by the Senate. This announcement maintained both bodies, but took $1 billion funding away from CEFC, removed ARENA's important grant making function, and reconfirmed the intention to remove the remaining ARENA budget of approx $1.3B. Source 1, Source 2, Source 3


Test 4. Introduce vehicle fuel pollution standards by 2017 to bring Australia into line with EU standards?

Score

0.5 / 1

Comment

Established Ministerial Forum to examine vehicle emissions standards in Australia and vehicle testing arrangements. Working group will report by 31 March 2017 to the Ministerial Forum on a draft implementation plan for new measures. No specific commitments have been made. Source 1


Test 5. Stop public subsidies to polluting fossil fuel industries?

Score

0 / 3

Comment

Budget showed no reform of the Fuel Tax Credit subsidy, which will cost Australians almost $26.5 billion over the next four years. No change to aviation fuel excise concessions which subsidise the fuel of the aviation sector; will cost Australian taxpayers $5.4 billion over the next four years.


Test 6. Phase out uranium mining?

Score

-1 / 1

Comment

Coalition supports expansion of uranium mining.


Test 7. Advance a new approach for the responsible and transparent management of Australia’s radioactive waste?

Score

1 / 3

Comment

Coalition is committed to consent basis for a new domestic waste dump but has also given public support to the international waste dump proposal.


Test 8. Stop new uranium sales and nuclear cooperation agreements?

Score

-1 / 1

Comment

Advancing sales deals to India, UAE and Ukraine.


Test 9. Set pollution targets to progressively reduce our pollution and enable Australia to reach net zero climate pollution by 2050 at the latest?

Score

2 / 5

Comment

Coalition has committed to 5-25% reduction on 2000 levels by 2020 based on the ambition of global agreement. Despite conditions being met to increase to higher target in this range, has maintained target of 5% by 2020. On track to meet and beat this target with benefit of Kyoto carryover. Announced target before Paris COP of 26-28% reduction on 2005 levels by 2030 (19.5% on 2000 levels). Analysis has shown that if others do the same share of action it would be consistent with 3-4°C of global warming. The target leaves us at the back of the pack among other developed countries. As part of Paris COP agreement, the government agreed to reach net zero in the second half of this century. Source 1, Source 2


Test 10. Policies and programs that are effective, durable, scalable and able to achieve the goal of reducing Australia’s climate pollution to net zero by 2050 at the latest?

Score

2 / 5

Comment

The centrepiece of the Coalition climate policy is the Direct Action Plan and $2.55B Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) that directly funds carbon reduction from business and industry through reverse auctions. To date, 67% of this fund has been spent on three auctions, but only 7% of the emissions reductions needed for the 2030 target have been purchased. No additional funding was provided in 2016-17 budget. In addition, the safeguard mechanism which ensures that emissions reductions purchased by the government are not offset by significant increases in emissions above business-as-usual levels elsewhere in the economy does not capture the biggest polluters and is not a mechanism to drive down climate pollution. In summary these central policies are expensive, ineffective means of meeting our 2030 pollution reduction target and are not driving changes in the energy sector which is the greatest contributor to climate pollution in Australia. The Coalition is also "implementing a National Energy Productivity Plan, reducing emissions from ozone-depleting gases and supporting investments in new technology such as solar storage." 

Providing $3.1 million for the CSIRO’s National Geosequestration Laboratory to research the commercial development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) under the CCS Research Development and Demonstration Fund. Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4


Test 11. Keep and adequately fund the independent Climate Change Authority, or similar independent authority that advises the government on climate change?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

Climate Change Authority only has funding guaranteed until the end of 2016. No new funding in the budget. Source


Test 12. Commit our fair share of funding – $550 million in 2016-17, growing to $1.6 billion by 2020 – to the Green Climate Fund?

Score

1 / 3

Comment

In 2014, announced $200m over 4 years for Green Climate Fund out of current aid budget. Source


Test 13. Provide a plan to phase out Australia’s coal-fired power stations, starting with the dirtiest, most inefficient and polluting power stations?

Score

0 / 5

Comment

No policy found.


Test 14. Ensure no new coal mines or coal mine extensions are approved.

Score

-3 / 5

Comment

Coalition is still approving new coal mines (e.g. Adani’s Carmichael Mine). No policy found that indicates approvals will end. The Coalition is investing in the growth of the fossil fuel sector including through $248 million in Australian Government funding over the four years from 2015/16 to 2018/19 for Industry Growth Sectors initiative that includes oil, gas and energy resources (including coal and uranium). Source


Test 15. Allocate funding for social and economic transition plans to retrain people who work in regions affected by the closure of coal operations, providing new opportunities for these communities?

Score

0 / 3

Comment

No policy found.


Test 16. Introduce a federal plan to bolster mine rehabilitation securities from liable companies?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

No policy or commitment found


Test 17. Leverage investment and increase the amount of carbon securely stored in biodiverse natural landscapes in line with the goal of net zero carbon pollution by 2050?

Score

1 / 5

Comment

The government's Emissions Reduction Fund has invested in biodiverse carbon stores but has serious limitations in its application, funding, additionality and prioritisation of investments.

The ERF totals $2.55 billion investment over ten years. The majority of projects have been devoted to carbon farming, however limited funds remain and there is no specific commitment in budget papers or otherwise to additional funds for continued operation. Current funding under the ERF will not be anywhere near sufficient to meet net zero carbon pollution by 2050. Source 1, Source 2


Test 18. Maintain funding for the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

The Australian government has committed $9 million over three years (2014-17) to NCCARF, but there is no further funding beyond 2017. Source


Test 19. Introduce a national strategy and standards for sustainable and resilient cities and urban centres?

Score

2 / 3

Comment

The Smart Cities Plan includes: "The establishment of an infrastructure financing unit to work closely with the private sector on innovative financing solutions; and committing $50 million to accelerate planning and development works on major infrastructure projects to develop business cases and investment options." 

The Smart Cities Plan will also include:

  • Investment of up to $100 million a year in a Sustainable Cities Investment Fund, to be managed by the CEFC, intended to accelerate the deployment of clean energy, renewable energy, and energy efficiency technology in cities. This funding is to come from CEFC's existing budget allocation and does not include any new funding;
  • A $50 million competitive Smart Cities Program for local governments to collaborate and apply innovative technology-based approaches to improve the liveability of cities and their suburbs;
  • A Western Sydney City Deal, which will be a planning, investment and delivery partnership; and
  • $50 billion on road and rail projects across Australia.

Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4


Test 20. Provide funding support for state and local government implementation of adaptation strategies?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

No funding commitment.


Test 21. Provide an effective national system of nature protection laws to protect and improve the health of Australia’s air, land, water and biodiversity by December 2018?

Score

0 / 5

Comment

One Stop Shop policy currently proposes to devolve federal approval powers and does not maintain federal standards or lead to any improvements in environmental health. Source 1, Source 2


Test 22. Expand Australian government oversight of climate issues, water resources, native vegetation and reserves within 12 months of taking office?

Score

0 / 3

Comment

No formal policy or commitment. One Stop Shop policy will reduce, rather than expand, federal government oversight of these issues.


Test 23. Ensure the federal government has direct responsibility to regulate projects that impact on matters of national importance?

Score

-3 / 3

Comment

One Stop Shop policy currently proposes to devolve federal approval powers. Source


Test 24. Establish and adequately resource an independent statutory authority to administer our national environmental law by December 2018?

Score

0 / 3

Comment

No formal policy or commitment.


Test 25. Ensure greater public access and accountability under national environmental law, including open standing provisions and merits review of decisions within 12 months of taking office?

Score

-1 / 1

Comment

Current policy is to repeal extended standing provisions under the EPBC Act. Source


Test 26. Commit $1 billion annually by 2018 in a National Environment Fund?

Score

2.5 / 5

Comment

Current spending in 2016/17 Budget: Administered Funds for Outcome 1.1 Total – $373,066m (made up of $230m in NHT, $9.9m environment stewardship, $89m Green Army, $39m Reef Trust Special account. Overall reduction in National Heritage Trust Funding to $188 million to 2018 (reduction $42m) and total administered reduction of $33m to $340m. New money for Reef 2050 in 2016 budget allocated out of National Landcare program, new money for Reef Trust does not occur until 2019 ($40m in 2019-20, $15m in 2020-21 and $15m in 2021-22). Additional money for 20 million trees ($70) already money within NHT allocation.

Announced $30m for local parks and environment – $24 million for public open space, $5 million for community solar projects and $1 million for outboard motors for lifesavers.

Committed to $50m to help farmers continue to protect the Great Barrier Reef.

Committed to $8.8m for Yellow Crazy Ants in World Heritage Area.

Committed to $5m for Threatened Species Fund. $0.5m for Tasmanian Devil Program. $6m to tackle crown-of-thorns starfish on the Great Barrier Reef. Funding for Local Environment Plans for Mayo, Fairfax and Cooks River Recovery. 

The Coalition will create a new $1 billion fund focused on improving reef water quality. The fund will provide up to $1 billion in debt and equity finance over 10 years for clean energy projects that help tackle climate change and improve water quality. The fund will be managed by the CEFC, and has been created by taking funding from the existing CEFC budget. Since this fund is simply a re-badging of existing CEFC funding it is not clear how it will deliver any additional clean energy projects beyond what was already possible through the CEFC. It also unclear how the fund will work to effectively and efficiently tackle water quality impacts within the catchments of the Great Barrier Reef. Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4


Test 27. Rule out logging, mining and other unsustainable land and sea uses in Australia’s World Heritage Areas?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

"Protection of Australia’s national and world heritage is a fundamental pillar of the Government’s environment policy. Our natural, Indigenous and historic heritage enhances our sense of place and national identity and makes a positive contribution to the nation’s wellbeing." Source


Test 28. Introduce national policies and regulations to protect and restore ecosystems along the Great Dividing Range, including establishing the Great Forest National Park?

Score

1 / 3

Comment

Current 20 Million Trees and National Landcare program partly achieve this, but investment is not sufficient and program design is questionable for the Green Army. No commitment to establish Great Forest National Park. Source


Test 29. Create new tax incentives for the management and restoration of ecosystems on private land?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

No formal policy or commitment.


Test 30. Increase funding for Indigenous Protected Areas, scaling up to $30 million per annum by 2020 as part of a National Environment Fund?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

No budget commitment to maintain or increase funding for Indigenous Protected Areas beyond 2017.


Test 31. Commit to supporting the employment of 5,000 Indigenous rangers by 2025?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

No budget commitment to maintain or increase funding for Indigenous Rangers beyond 2017.


Test 32. Provide commitments to the expansion of sustainable tourism and renewable energy initiatives across northern Australia to benefit local communities?

Score

0 / 3

Comment

No explicit commitments or consideration of appropriate criteria yet for the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to enable this.


Test 33. Deliver the commitments made under the Murray Darling Basin Plan on time and in full, including the delivery of outcomes equivalent to 3,200 gigalitres in environmental water?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

The Coalition has publicly committed to implementing the Murray Darling Basin Plan “on time and in full.” Source


Test 34. Provide a plan to reward private landholders for managing floodplains to produce environmental benefits for the river system?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

No formal policy or commitment


Test 35. Adequately resource the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder to build and deliver its critically important portfolio of environment water?

Score

0 / 3

Comment

In the the 2016 Budget funding for the CEWH is forecast to effectively run out in 2017-18. Source


Test 36. Support and fund a science-driven program to eradicate invasive European carp in the Murray-Darling Basin?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Commitment to funding and implementing a science led program to tackle invasive Carp. Source


Test 37. Revitalise national water reform in Australia and set out a road-map for the recognition of Indigenous water rights?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

Abolished the National Water Commission. Proposed to construct more dams with $2 billion loan facility. Amendments to Water Act do not include provisions for Indigenous Water Rights. Source 1, Source 2


Test 38. Introduce a well-resourced and complete system of annual national and regional environmental accounts by 2019?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

No formal policy or commitment.


Test 39. Expand the mandate of the Productivity Commission to explicitly include environmental issues?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

No formal policy or commitment.


Test 40. Introduce transparent and independent analysis of the social, economic and environmental costs and benefits of all major projects by 2017?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

No formal policy or commitment.

 

 

How did we calculate these scores?

We measured the policies of each party against 40 tests set out in ACF’s National Agenda 2016. The tests are grouped under three broad headings: clean energy, cutting pollution and protecting nature. Together, these are the policy commitments we believe are required to protect people rivers, reefs, forests and wildlife for future generations.

We have ranked the 40 tests into three categories: critical issues (worth 5 marks), priority issues (worth 3 marks) and important issues (worth 1 mark). For each policy offering, we decide how many of the total available marks to award on the basis of how completely the policy fulfils our test. In some cases, such as where a policy unwinds existing environmental protection, we award negative marks. The total score out of 100 is our assessment of the strength of the party’s overall policy offering as it relates to the issues in ACF’s National Agenda. In the case of the minor parties on our scorecard, we haven taken into account their lesser relative capacity and have looked for strong in-principle commitments to deliver the policies our tests require, rather than detailed policy design. We have not assessed policy which falls outside our agenda.

Find out how the parties score on each issue

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Labor

Here's how the Australian Labor Party rates against all 40 tests of success for our environment, with a detailed breakdown of weighting, scores and policy commitments.

Test 1. Policies to ensure clean renewables power 100% of Australia’s electricity by 2035, and 100% of all Australia’s energy before 2050?

Score

3.5 / 5

Comment

Labor has committed to growing the renewable energy sector beyond 2020 by adopting policies to deliver at least 50% of our electricity generation from renewable sources by 2030. Labor has committed to providing the CEFC with more certainty and flexibility, deliver more funding for ARENA, establish a Community Power Network, and make the Commonwealth a direct purchaser of renewable energy. "A Labor Government would engage with industry, experts, investors, scientists, researchers and consumers to put in place the most appropriate policy settings for the period 2020-2030." "Labor in Government would announce the proposed design details by 1 October 2017 with legislation governing post-2020 arrangements to be introduced to Parliament in late 2017." Committed $206 million for concentrated solar funding round through ARENA. 

Announced a "comprehensive plan for renewable energy in Australia", which includes the following existing and new commitments:

  • 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030;
  • Up to 10 Community Power Hubs across the country to boost small-scale renewables;
  • Adequate funding for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA); and
  • Expanding the investment mandate of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

Will directly drive investment in renewable energy by working with energy providers to enter into Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) equal to bringing Commonwealth energy use up to 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030. These would be 10-15 year contracts, and would provide the certainty needed for long term investment in the renewable energy sector.

Additional detail on community renewable energy commitment includes: "$98.7 million toward the creation of up to ten Community Power Hubs in the areas of most need, which will deal with the challenges of implementing renewable energy solutions. The Hubs will work with local communities to support the development of renewable projects, by providing legal and technical expertise as well as start-up funding. The Hubs will also explore innovative methods of finance for low-income earners and pensioners, including using council rate payments as contributions for projects." Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4, Source 5


Test 2. Double the energy productivity of Australia’s economy by 2030?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

Labor is committed to double energy productivity by 2030. Source 1, Source 2


Test 3. Retain the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Australian Renewable Energy Agency with existing or additional resources?

Score

2.5 / 3

Comment

CEFC was legislated by Labor in 2012 with funding of $10 billion over 5 years with funding starting from July 1, 2013. ALP Climate Change Action Plan has committed to restore flexibility to CEFC by broadening investment mandate to make tech neutral and setting appropriate targets for investment. Will lock in investment mandate for full term of next Parliament. Committed to work with new ARENA Board and to provide $206.6m for concentrated solar funding round. No commitment to restore grant function or full $1.3 of remaining original funding. But, after budget reply: "ARENA is fully funded for 2016/17 but we recognise that the balance of funds and programs needs further consideration to ensure that we have what is actually required to achieve our targets for the renewable revolution and deliver on the commitments in our Climate Change Action Plan. On winning Government we will sit down with the ARENA board and work through exactly what is required." 

As part of Renewable Energy Plan, committed to:

  • Adequate funding for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA); and
  • Expanding the investment mandate of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

Commitment to restoring ARENA grant function is still unclear. Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4, Source 5


Test 4. Introduce vehicle fuel pollution standards by 2017 to bring Australia into line with EU standards?

Score

0.5 / 1

Comment

Labor is committed to the introduction of mandatory light vehicle standards to align with US standards--to reduce the emissions intensity for all light vehicles from the current 192g CO2/km to 105g CO2/km in 2025 through the implementation of mandatory standards. These standards will be phased-in from 2020. Source


Test 5. Stop public subsidies to polluting fossil fuel industries?

Score

0 / 3

Comment

No policy found.


Test 6. Phase out uranium mining?

Score

-1 / 1

Comment

Current policy allows expansion of uranium mining. Source


Test 7. Advance a new approach for the responsible and transparent management of Australia’s radioactive waste?

Score

2 / 3

Comment

Labor supports the same process as the Coalition for selecting a domestic waste site but federal Labor policy is opposed to any international waste dump. Source 1, Source 2


Test 8. Stop new uranium sales and nuclear cooperation agreements?

Score

-1 / 1

Comment

Labor has supported the sales deal with India and not strongly contested other sales deals. Source


Test 9. Set pollution targets to progressively reduce our pollution and enable Australia to reach net zero climate pollution by 2050 at the latest?

Score

3.5 / 5

Comment

Initially committed to 5-25% reduction on 2000 levels by 2020 and set 5% target from this range while in government. Has maintained 5% target despite conditions having been met for increase (reference in Climate Change Action Plan). Endorsed Paris Agreement, and to ensure Australia does its fair share, committed to a net zero pollution target by 2050; a target of 45 per cent carbon pollution reduction on 2005 levels by 2030 consistent with advice from the Climate Change Authority; to set a 2025 target within a year of coming to government; and to five-yearly reviews to keep policy goals updated and consistent with the latest science and actions of other nations.


Test 10. Policies and programs that are effective, durable, scalable and able to achieve the goal of reducing Australia’s climate pollution to net zero by 2050 at the latest?

Score

4 / 5

Comment

Announced a 50% renewable electricity generation goal by 2030, a two-phased internationally linked Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) including a 2018-20 cap on pollution for liable entities; a commitment to double energy productivity by 2030; an electricity modernisation review; and a strategic industries taskforce. Source 1, Source 2, Source 3


Test 11. Keep and adequately fund the independent Climate Change Authority, or similar independent authority that advises the government on climate change?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Labor established the CCA to provide independent advice on Australia’s emissions reduction targets and to regularly review these targets. Committed to retain CCA including $17.4m over forward estimates to reverse the government's abolition and appropriately resource. Source


Test 12. Commit our fair share of funding – $550 million in 2016-17, growing to $1.6 billion by 2020 – to the Green Climate Fund?

Score

1 / 3

Comment

"Labor is committed to ensuring Australia's continued commitment to international climate finance, in line with the shared international goal of mobilising public and private funds to assist vulnerable communities address climate change. Labor will ensure Australia works cooperatively with our major trading partners and the rest of the international community on climate change action, adaptation and finance. Labor will not reduce the current allocations for the Green Climate Fund."


Test 13. Provide a plan to phase out Australia’s coal-fired power stations, starting with the dirtiest, most inefficient and polluting power stations?

Score

3.5 / 5

Comment

Labor has committed to develop a long-term plan to ensure the orderly transition of Australia’s energy generation from polluting coal-fired power stations to renewable and clean energy, with a core focus on supporting workers and communities. Electricity Modernisation Strategy will include a managed, predictable long-term process of modernisation for the electricity sector. In addition, ALP plans to maximise the job opportunities from clean energy and clean technology, while also securing the future of critical Australian industries through a Strategic Industries Task Force. This will be supported by a Strategic Industries Reserve Fund of $300m to support the transition of key industries to 2020. Labor will establish a Just Transition Unit in the Department of Environment to co-ordinate the work of different Commonwealth agencies to the implementation of that element of the Paris Agreement. Source


Test 14. Ensure no new coal mines or coal mine extensions are approved.

Score

0 / 5

Comment

The ALP Platform states that "Australia is both an important producer of established sources of energy, including coal, gas, oil and condensate, and a world-class developer of renewable and sustainable energy technologies." Has committed to provide no public funding for Carmichael, uncertain whether would approve the mine if in government. Source


Test 15. Allocate funding for social and economic transition plans to retrain people who work in regions affected by the closure of coal operations, providing new opportunities for these communities?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

ALP climate approach includes Electricity Modernisation Plan to assist the transition of companies, workers and communities in the power sector move to less emissions intensive industries. Source


Test 16. Introduce a federal plan to bolster mine rehabilitation securities from liable companies?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

No policy found.


Test 17. Leverage investment and increase the amount of carbon securely stored in biodiverse natural landscapes in line with the goal of net zero carbon pollution by 2050?

Score

4 / 5

Comment

ALP's Climate Change Action Plan has committed to capture carbon on the land "by reinvigorating the Carbon Farming Initiative to encourage carbon storage on the land and in agriculture, and taking decisive action to deal with broad scale land clearing." "Will work with stakeholders to develop an appropriate 'trigger' in federal environmental protection laws to cover Australia’s national and international commitments around climate change; Require the adoption of consistent reporting of land and tree clearing across States and the Commonwealth; Reinvigorate the COAG National Vegetation Management Framework; Reinvigorate the Carbon Farming Initiative." Source 1


Test 18. Maintain funding for the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility?

Score

0.5 / 1

Comment

National Platform notes Australia’s publicly-funded science and research agencies should be properly resourced to support their critical contribution to society, productivity and economic growth. Australia’s regional and rural science capabilities, including within publicly-funded research agencies such as CSIRO, are essential. 

Labor has committed to ʺup to $50 million for Reef research, to be allocated through a merit based process between Australia’s Great Barrier Reef researchers at institutes such as: the University of Queensland, the Australian Institute of Marine Sciences, the Bureau of Meteorology, James Cook University and others."

In response to CSIRO 2014 Budget cuts that resulted in the loss of one in five jobs, and CSIRO plans to cut another 275 jobs, including the Oceans and Atmosphere, Land and Water, Manufacturing, and Data61 (IT) divisions, "Labor has publicly committed to using ministerial authority to stop this round of job cuts should we win Government. Labor has also said that we would commission an independent review of the CSIRO’s structure, management and functions."


Test 19. Introduce a national strategy and standards for sustainable and resilient cities and urban centres?

Score

2 / 3

Comment

National platform calls for development of integrated long term strategies.

Labor maintains commitment to their 10-point plan for better cities announced in 2014 that includes: 

  • 1. Investing in properly integrated transport systems involving public transport and roads;
  • 2. Investing in active transport solutions which connect up with public transport, education and employment hubs;
  • 3. Addressing housing affordability through the use of urban planning, land supply and use of incentives;
  • 4. Aligning greater housing density with public transport corridors;
  • 5. Promoting jobs growth in outer suburbs;
  • 6. Promoting jobs growth in middle rings around cities by investing in research precincts around universities and hospitals;
  • 7. Supporting connectivity and productivity through fibre-to-the-premise National Broadband Network;
  • 8. Supporting renewable energy including buildings and precincts that produce their own power in new developments;
  • 9. Enhancing sustainability and resilience of household and industrial water supply and rehabilitating our urban waterways; and
  • 10. Cooperation between governments to promote the development of second or third CBD’s to decentralize jobs growth."

National cycling strategy: Will invest $1.25 million in the Australian Bicycle Council to ensure the ongoing development of a national cycling strategy. Will require that all projects submitted to Infrastructure Australia add another criterion to its assessments – the inclusion of active transport modes including cycling and walking. Will also continue to work with states and territories to consider establishing a new Walking, Riding and Access to Public Transport Council, as outlined in the 2013 Walking, Riding and Access to Public Transport report. Source 1, Source 2, Source 3


Test 20. Provide funding support for state and local government implementation of adaptation strategies?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

No funding commitment.


Test 21. Provide an effective national system of nature protection laws to protect and improve the health of Australia’s air, land, water and biodiversity by December 2018?

Score

4 / 5

Comment

Commitment in the National Platform to improve environmental law.

Labor has committed, in the first 100 days of forming government, to convening "an expert reference group to work in partnership with industry and environmental groups to develop the detail of the new environment laws.

"A Shorten Labor Government will improve environmental protection and streamline the environmental approval process by:

  • Re-establishing the Federal Government’s responsibility for protection of matters of national environmental significance.
  • Retaining Federal Government powers of approval under federal laws.
  • Streamlining assessment processes with States and Territory Governments to remove unnecessary duplication.
  • Developing new frameworks for truly national protection and management of Australia’s natural environment.
  • Exploring options for an independent environment protection structure.
  • Reinstating the principles of democracy, respect and protection of rights for civil society involvement in environmental matters, including funding for Environment Defenders Offices (EDOs), a commitment $10.8 million over four years."

Has committed to "work with state and territory governments and landholders to develop and implement threat abatement and recovery plans for threatened species and ecological communities, while preventing land clearing that will have a significant impact on threatened ecological communities and critical habitats for threatened species. Labor will further improve protections for threatened species and habitats through a strengthening of Australia’s environmental laws." Source 1, Source 2


Test 22. Expand Australian government oversight of climate issues, water resources, native vegetation and reserves within 12 months of taking office?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

ALP has committed to establishing a Climate and Landclearing Trigger and to expand the Water Trigger to tight and shale gas. Committed to establishing a National Parks Trigger. Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4


Test 23. Ensure the federal government has direct responsibility to regulate projects that impact on matters of national importance?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

Committed to retaining Australian government oversight.

"The Australian government has an enduring responsibility to protect matters of national environmental significance. Labor has a proud history of national environmental protection laws. These have been instrumental in protecting Australia’s greatest natural treasures for decades. Labor will not support handing approval powers under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 to state and territory governments." Source


Test 24. Establish and adequately resource an independent statutory authority to administer our national environmental law by December 2018?

Score

2 / 3

Comment

Labor has committed to "Explore options for an independent environment protection structure... There is a growing public demand for greater transparency and independence in decision making following on from accusations and confirmed instances of coercion and corruption around project approvals at a political level. There are best practice examples around the world of clear, transparent and robust decision making through independent structures. A Shorten Labor Government will explore how an independent environmental structure could be implemented in Australia." Source 1, Source 2


Test 25. Ensure greater public access and accountability under national environmental law, including open standing provisions and merits review of decisions within 12 months of taking office?

Score

0.5 / 1

Comment

Labor has committed to "re-establishing Commonwealth support to all nine Environment Defenders Offices (EDOs).

"EDOs play a vital role in general environment protection work as well as providing access to justice for individuals and groups who could not otherwise afford to take on large companies whose proposed actions may have adverse impacts on those individuals and communities. This is particularly the case in regional Australia, where the majority of large-scale projects with potentially adverse environmental impacts are carried out.

"Since being elected in 2013 the Liberals have attempted to gag civil society advocates and cut off their access to the courts. Without appropriate resourcing, these groups are left unable to fight the Turnbull Government’s cuts and ideological attacks which are impacting the people and places they represent. Stopping community groups, farmers and NGOs from challenging decisions in the courts is fundamentally undemocratic.

"Registered Environmental Organisations contribute to the preservation of our natural environment and to the health of our democracy."

Labor has opposed the repeal of s487 of the EPBC Act. Source


Test 26. Commit $1 billion annually by 2018 in a National Environment Fund?

Score

2.5 / 5

Comment

"Labor will protect Australia’s biological diversity through a national system of comprehensive adequate and representative parks and reserves, while using education, regulation and incentives to achieve ecologically sustainable use elsewhere in the landscape.

Labor will work with state and territory governments and landholders to develop, resource and implement threat abatement and recovery plans for threatened species and ecological communities, while preventing clearing that will have a significant impact on threatened ecological communities and critical habitats for threatened species."

"Labor will cooperate with the states, territories and landholders to achieve a net increase in Australia’s vegetation cover, to improve its management and to end broad-scale clearing. Funding of state, territory and landholder projects will be conditional upon appropriate clearing controls being in place"

Labor have committed to "$7.5 million to contain and reduce the Yellow Crazy Ant population in the Wet Tropics of Queensland."

Labor have committed to a "Great Barrier Reef Plan – a long-term, coordinated and resourced strategy." This will be supported by "$500 million over five years, including $377 million of new investment."

Has committed to a $100 million Fisheries Adjustment Package to assist those fishers impacted by the Commonwealth Marine Reserves. Source


Test 27. Rule out logging, mining and other unsustainable land and sea uses in Australia’s World Heritage Areas?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Does not support resource extraction in World Heritage Areas. "Labor does not support mining or other resource extraction in national parks and World Heritage areas." Source


Test 28. Introduce national policies and regulations to protect and restore ecosystems along the Great Dividing Range, including establishing the Great Forest National Park?

Score

1.5 / 3

Comment

Commitment to cooperative policies to deliver net increase in vegetation cover and management. "Labor will cooperate with the states, territories and landholders to achieve a net increase in Australia’s vegetation cover, to improve its management and to end broad-scale clearing. Funding of state, territory and landholder projects will be conditional upon appropriate clearing controls being in place."

Labor has committed to establishing a land clearing trigger and climate trigger and a national parks under national environment law.

Labor has committed "$76.9 million to establish an Australian Institute for Biosecurity to manage the challenges of pest animals, weeds and plant disease incursions on the land and in our waterways and oceans." Source


Test 29. Create new tax incentives for the management and restoration of ecosystems on private land?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

No formal policy or commitment.


Test 30. Increase funding for Indigenous Protected Areas, scaling up to $30 million per annum by 2020 as part of a National Environment Fund?

Score

0.5 / 1

Comment

National platform commitment to "Support employment programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to work on and manage country, particularly through the highly successful Indigenous Ranger and Indigenous Protected Area programs" but no clear funding commitment yet. Source


Test 31. Commit to supporting the employment of 5,000 Indigenous rangers by 2025?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Labor has committed to doubling the number of Indigenous Rangers employed under the Working on Country Indigenous Ranger Program through an investment of $200m over five years. This sets ranger numbers on an appropriate trajectory to the 2025 target. “The Working on Country program was established in 2007 and currently employs 775 Indigenous people in communities across Australia.  Thanks to further Labor support announced today, that number will double to 1550 Indigenous rangers by 2020-21.” Source


Test 32. Provide commitments to the expansion of sustainable tourism and renewable energy initiatives across northern Australia to benefit local communities?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

Labor has committed that "Northern Australia has significant social service needs and economic infrastructure requirements. Labor will remove policy and other obstacles for future investment in infrastructure. Labor will encourage sustainable development in Northern Australia that protects the region’s natural environment, its water resources and its many social and cultural assets, while harnessing its potential, including greater use of renewable energy sources. Appropriate investment in water, energy, and transport and communications infrastructure is critical to the future development of Northern Australia."

Labor has committed to "allocate $1 billion from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to a Northern Australia Tourism Infrastructure Fund, to boost partnerships with the tourism sector and committed to provide incentives for investment in new and upgraded tourism infrastructure across the north. The following will be eligible for funding: Projects targeting the expanding Asian tourism market. Projects promoting Australia’s natural environment such as the Great Barrier Reef; Eco-tourism; Indigenous tourism ventures; Event-based facilities including stadia and convention centres; Transport and access upgrades, including for ports and airports.” Source


Test 33. Deliver the commitments made under the Murray Darling Basin Plan on time and in full, including the delivery of outcomes equivalent to 3,200 gigalitres in environmental water?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

Commitment to the Murray Darling Basin Plan. "Labor supports the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, which will keep the mouth of the River Murray open nine years out of ten and enable the export of salt and sediment from the system. Within legal and physical constraints, the Plan will return enough water to the Basin to protect key environmental sites, including the Ramsar wetland sites." Source


Test 34. Provide a plan to reward private landholders for managing floodplains to produce environmental benefits for the river system?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

No formal policy or commitment.


Test 35. Adequately resource the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder to build and deliver its critically important portfolio of environment water?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

"The Murray-Darling Basin Plan is a historic agreement that represents a significant step forward in the management of our most important river system. Labor is committed to achieving the plan and ensuring a healthy future for the Murray-Darling, and as such we are fully committed to the role and operation of the Commonwealth Environment Water Holder for the full duration of the basin plan."


Test 36. Support and fund a science-driven program to eradicate invasive European carp in the Murray-Darling Basin?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

"European carp (Cyprinus carpio) is considered one of Australia's major aquatic pests since it spread through the Murray Darling Basin in the late 1980s. Previously held in check by the drought, recent years of flooding rains have resulted in significant expansion of the carp population. I acknowledge the increasing pressure this has placed on our waterways and native wildlife and as such fully support the research being undertaken by the CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory. A Labor government will continue with the plans to control Carp in the Murray-Darling."


Test 37. Revitalise national water reform in Australia and set out a road-map for the recognition of Indigenous water rights?

Score

0.5 / 1

Comment

Labor has stated, "Management of our water resources should be a crucial area of concern for all governments, especially in light of likely impacts from climate change as well as new mining technologies.

"Labor supports economically and environmentally viable water infrastructure projects but also understands we can improve our soils quicker than we can build dams. A Labor Government will place an emphasis on water efficiency and the best possible utilisation of our precious water resources."

Labor has committed to providing CSIRO with a funding of $249 million over four years. Source


Test 38. Introduce a well-resourced and complete system of annual national and regional environmental accounts by 2019?

Score

0.5 / 1

Comment

Labor has stated, "The use of National Environmental Accounts has a fledgling but growing awareness across Australia. The use of environmental accounting methodology places scientific information about our environment into an accounting framework. This allows a better understanding of complex scientific information as well as giving Government a solid framework to evaluate, set and then monitor achievement in the most cost-effective way. While the research is still new in Australia, a Labor Government would be pre disposed to examine this methodology with a view to adopting such a framework." 


Test 39. Expand the mandate of the Productivity Commission to explicitly include environmental issues?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

No formal policy or commitment.


Test 40. Introduce transparent and independent analysis of the social, economic and environmental costs and benefits of all major projects by 2017?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

No formal policy or commitment.

 

 

How did we calculate these scores?

We measured the policies of each party against 40 tests set out in ACF’s National Agenda 2016. The tests are grouped under three broad headings: clean energy, cutting pollution and protecting nature. Together, these are the policy commitments we believe are required to protect people rivers, reefs, forests and wildlife for future generations.

We have ranked the 40 tests into three categories: critical issues (worth 5 marks), priority issues (worth 3 marks) and important issues (worth 1 mark). For each policy offering, we decide how many of the total available marks to award on the basis of how completely the policy fulfils our test. In some cases, such as where a policy unwinds existing environmental protection, we award negative marks. The total score out of 100 is our assessment of the strength of the party’s overall policy offering as it relates to the issues in ACF’s National Agenda. In the case of the minor parties on our scorecard, we haven taken into account their lesser relative capacity and have looked for strong in-principle commitments to deliver the policies our tests require, rather than detailed policy design. We have not assessed policy which falls outside our agenda.

Find out how the parties score on each issue

back to the scoreboard

The Greens

Here's how the Greens rate against all 40 tests of success for our environment, with a detailed breakdown of weighting, scores and policy commitments.

Test 1. Policies to ensure clean renewables power 100% of Australia’s electricity by 2035, and 100% of all Australia’s energy before 2050?

Score

5 / 5

Comment

Renew Australia Plan would ensure that energy generation is at least 90% renewable by 2030. The plan acknowledges that it is likely 100% of our energy needs for our homes, businesses and industry will come from clean power and storage and Renew Australia sets up for electrification of transport. The Australian Greens support establishing a new $500 million government authority – RenewAustralia – tasked with planning and driving the transition to a new clean energy system including pipeline of renewable energy projects and closure of coal fired power plants. This will leverage $5 billion on construction in new energy generation over the next four years. The Greens would introduce a 50 per cent refundable tax credit for individuals to assist with the cost of household solar energy storage systems. Individuals would get up to half the cost of their battery storage system covered, and the program would run for five years with the credit tapering off reflecting the projected decline in battery storage costs.

The Greens also introduce a Low Income Solar Storage (LISS) grant to be administered by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

The Greens commit to get 31,000 more electric vehicles on the road by 2021 and 330 more charging stations around the country by:

  • Funding free registration for the first five years after purchase of a fully electric vehicle
  • Providing $151 million in grants to support local governments, state governments and car park operators to install electric vehicle charging infrastructure
  • Providing $50 million in grants to support government and non-government organisations to meet the gap between the cost on electric vehicle and a conventional vehicle
  • Increasing the luxury car tax to 50 per cent for conventional fossil fuel vehicles over $100,000 to provide to drive consumer choices towards electric vehicles
  • Including firms involved in electric vehicle manufacturing in the government’s Automotive Transformation Scheme to grow the jobs and skills in the new electric vehicle industry.

Source 1, Source 2, Source 3


Test 2. Double the energy productivity of Australia’s economy by 2030?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

The Greens would move to ensure that energy generation is at least 90 per cent renewable by 2030 and our energy efficiency is doubled. Source


Test 3. Retain the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Australian Renewable Energy Agency with existing or additional resources?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

The Greens would extend and increase the finance mandate of the CEFC and increase guaranteed funding for CEFC from $10 billion over five years to $30 billion over ten. This would increase spending from an average of $2 billion each year, to $3 billion each year. Introduced Motion into the Senate that "resolves that the $1.5 billion of currently legislated funding for ARENA for the financial years 2016-17 to 2021-22 will not be reduced." Source

Related to ARENA, will push for the $100m federal grant required to make a solar thermal plant in Port Augusta a reality. Source


Test 4. Introduce vehicle fuel pollution standards by 2017 to bring Australia into line with EU standards?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

The Greens have introduced a Bill to implement mandatory vehicle fuel efficiency standards, the Motor Vehicle Standards (Cheaper Transport) Bill 2014. "Our plan to Renew Australia will also allow us to join the world in transitioning from petroleum to electric vehicles and take advantage of connecting our electricity and transport systems." Source 1, Source 2


Test 5. Stop public subsidies to polluting fossil fuel industries?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

The Australian Greens oppose fossil fuel subsidies and donations. Seven-point plan to revitalise reef and stop coal mines includes commitment to end fuel tax credits and apply funding to reef health and transitioning workers. Source 1, Source 2


Test 6. Phase out uranium mining?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Support phase out of uranium mining. Source


Test 7. Advance a new approach for the responsible and transparent management of Australia’s radioactive waste?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

Support full review of domestic waste management options. Source


Test 8. Stop new uranium sales and nuclear cooperation agreements?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Opposed to new agreements and to review existing agreements. Source


Test 9. Set pollution targets to progressively reduce our pollution and enable Australia to reach net zero climate pollution by 2050 at the latest?

Score

5 / 5

Comment

Committed to reduce emissions by 40-50 per cent on 2000 levels by 2020. Resolved that global warming should be stabilised within 1.5 degrees. Nation-wide pollution cuts of 60-80 per cent on 2000 levels by 2030 and net-zero pollution by 2040. Source


Test 10. Policies and programs that are effective, durable, scalable and able to achieve the goal of reducing Australia’s climate pollution to net zero by 2050 at the latest?

Score

5 / 5

Comment

Announced Renew Australia Plan to achieve net zero by 2040 to: Power Australia with at least 90 per cent renewable energy by 2030, by direct government commissioning and ownership, reverse auctions and increasing the Renewable Energy Target; increase Clean Energy Finance to $30 billion, $3 billion per year for ten years, to drive more change and private investment; and to frame a national energy grid to make planning clean energy possible. Also states that carbon pricing is an essential long‐term policy. Source


Test 11. Keep and adequately fund the independent Climate Change Authority, or similar independent authority that advises the government on climate change?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

No formal policy found however, after resignation of CCA Chair, the Greens called on the Abbott Government with Notice of Motion in Parliament to abandon plans to abolish CCA and to appoint a new chair and board members, who understand climate science, and ensure Board has quorate. Source


Test 12. Commit our fair share of funding – $550 million in 2016-17, growing to $1.6 billion by 2020 – to the Green Climate Fund?

Score

2 / 3

Comment

The following quote is attributable to Senator Larissa Waters, the Australian Greens climate change spokesperson: "The Australian Greens are committed to delivering public and private climate finance in line with Australia’s fair share of the $100 billion pledged in the Paris Agreement. The Australian Greens support targeted assistance, particularly in the Asia Pacific region, for climate change adaptation measures, so communities can remain in their own countries and maintain cultural cohesion. Climate finance must not be diverted from existing foreign aid budgets, which have already suffered savage cuts."


Test 13. Provide a plan to phase out Australia’s coal-fired power stations, starting with the dirtiest, most inefficient and polluting power stations?

Score

5 / 5

Comment

Greens policy states that "to avoid catastrophic global warming and stabilise warming at 1.5 degrees, Australia must cut pollution rapidly to achieve net zero pollution by 2040." Plan to implement pollution intensity standards to enable the gradual, staged closure of coal fired power stations, starting with Australia’s dirtiest – Hazelwood. Plan includes managing the phase out of fossil fuel power stations by working with the energy market regulators to ensure coal and gas plants are switched off at times which ensure no threat to electricity supply. Coal closure plans support renewable energy target with closure managed across states by 2030. Source


Test 14. Ensure no new coal mines or coal mine extensions are approved.

Score

5 / 5

Comment

Renew Australia Plan includes: "Combined with other measures like a carbon price to drive innovations in agriculture and industry, stopping new polluting coal mines and new unconventional gas, and investing in world-class public transport and energy efficiency, Australia will be on track to play our part in stabilising global warming at 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial temperatures."

The Greens' seven-point plan includes a $1 billion Clean Energy Transition Fund to help workers exit the coal industry. It invests in the health of the Great Barrier Reef and raises revenue by placing a levy on coal exports and ending tax-free fuel for mining companies. It puts an urgent brake on global warming by banning new coal and gas projects, investing in large-scale clean energy projects and implementing a carbon price that captures those exporting coal and gas pollution to the world. Source


Test 15. Allocate funding for social and economic transition plans to retrain people who work in regions affected by the closure of coal operations, providing new opportunities for these communities?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

Committed to create a $250 million Clean Energy Transition Fund to assist coal workers and communities with the transition. Source


Test 16. Introduce a federal plan to bolster mine rehabilitation securities from liable companies?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Commitment to "support the inclusion in all new mining proposals of a fully costed and funded allocation for the restoration and rehabilitation of the impacted areas to world's best practice standards, verified by open and transparent means. An urgent national audit of all coal mines, identifying the gap between the value rehabilitation bonds held by the state or territory government and the true cost of rehabilitation. This amount will be held on trust by the federal government." Source 1, Source 2


Test 17. Leverage investment and increase the amount of carbon securely stored in biodiverse natural landscapes in line with the goal of net zero carbon pollution by 2050?

Score

4 / 5

Comment

The Greens have committed to "a goal of net-zero climate pollution by 2040 which will necessarily include significant land sector carbon storage."

The Greens have committed to re-establishing and double funding for the Biodiversity Fund with $2 billion in funding over 6 years and the first $1 billion to be injected immediately.

The Biodiversity Fund will focus on projects with a double benefit – both carbon storage and biodiversity outcomes. Source 1Source 2


Test 18. Maintain funding for the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Will "fund adaptation research by keeping the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility and triple current funding,
which is due to expire in 2017, with funding of $10 million per year." Source.


Test 19. Introduce a national strategy and standards for sustainable and resilient cities and urban centres?

Score

2 / 3

Comment

The Greens policy references national standards and development of new clean transport infrastructure, and includes a set of sustainable planning and transport principles and aims.

Commit to transform cities with a 'Cities Greenway' initiative which includes to:

  • Introduce a new $40m buy-back fund to purchase areas of high conservation value; 
  • Provide $2m to assist states develop Greenway plans; 
  • Introduce a moratorium on clearing of urban bushland; 
  • Introduce a community grants scheme worth $8m; 
  • Add the Greenways network to our National Reserve System; and 
  • Establish an Urban biodiversity Taskforce.

Released 'Clean Transport Future' plan including dedicated $10 billion funding over four years, to prioritise public transport that Australians need to fix traffic congestion, reduce pollution and make our cities and towns healthy and liveable.

The Greens full clean transport plan will also:

  • Establish an annual $250m Active Transport Fund for cycling and walking infrastructure to cut pollution, reduce traffic congestion and encourage physical activity. 
  • Fast track high speed rail.
  • Commit an additional $500 million to shift freight onto rail through new rail freight lines.
  • Invest an additional $250m in arterial road works to maximise efficient traffic flow and enable better bus services to suburban and outer-urban communities.
  • Commit to $300m in additional funding for the Black Spot road safety program. 
  • Accelerate the electric vehicle revolution through $201 million in infrastructure and fleet grants, and five years’ worth of free registration for new fully electric vehicles.

Source 1Source 2, Source 3


Test 20. Provide funding support for state and local government implementation of adaptation strategies?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

'Living with Global Warming' plan includes commitment to provide $370 million over four years to:

  • Double the number of paid firefighters by 2030 with an initial $120 million over the first four years of a 10 year plan. 
  • Fund natural disaster preparedness such as disaster proofing infrastructure, building resilience and supporting the SES, with $200 million over four years by replacing the lapsed National Disaster Resilience Program with a new - National Partnership Agreement for Climate Adaptation between federal, State and Territory governments.
  • Fund adaptation research by keeping the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility and triple current funding which is due to expire in 2017 with funding of $10 million per year. 
  • Plan for rising seas, with $5 million in funding per year to support State and Local governments to plan for the already inevitable sea level rise. 
  • A thermal coal export levy of $3 per tonne, raising $650 million per year, will help to pay for these initiatives to account for damage caused by the burning of coal.

Source


Test 21. Provide an effective national system of nature protection laws to protect and improve the health of Australia’s air, land, water and biodiversity by December 2018?

Score

5 / 5

Comment

Commitment to "clearly define in domestic law all of Australia's responsibilities under international environmental treaties to which we are a signatory, and to contribute to global sustainability through support of international cooperation on environmental issues. Full integration of ecological sustainability and the precautionary principle, into all decision-making that impacts our biodiversity. The introduction of national measures to end broad scale clearing and incremental loss of native vegetation including the degradation of native forests." 

Greens have committed to an extensive policy on environmental law reform, including establishing a new national Environment Act, ending RFA's, protecting critical habitats, controlling land clearing and instituting a climate trigger.

Source 1, Source 2


Test 22. Expand Australian government oversight of climate issues, water resources, native vegetation and reserves within 12 months of taking office?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

Commitment to strengthen and expand the Commonwealth powers to protect and enhance Australia’s environment and heritage including broader oversight of state government decisions with national environmental significance. Source


Test 23. Ensure the federal government has direct responsibility to regulate projects that impact on matters of national importance?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

Opposed to the hand-over of Commonwealth powers to state, territory and local governments.  Source 1 , Source 2 , Source 3


Test 24. Establish and adequately resource an independent statutory authority to administer our national environmental law by December 2018?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

Commitment to "establish a national ecological sustainability commission to focus on issues of ecological integrity.

Commitment to "accurate and independent environmental, health and social impact assessments addressing the true environmental, social and economic costs and benefits, rigorously applied and implemented on all mining proposals and projects."

"Rigorous independent ongoing monitoring and compliance with undertakings and legal obligations of all mining projects including during the rehabilitation phase."

Commitment to establish an independent Environmental Protection Authority. Source 1, Source 2, Source 3


Test 25. Ensure greater public access and accountability under national environmental law, including open standing provisions and merits review of decisions within 12 months of taking office?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

The Greens are on the record opposing the repeal of s487 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. Policy to strengthen rights for landholders regarding access, negotiation, appeal and compensation rights in all their dealings with mining and resources companies.

Commitment to "increase opportunities for public participation in decision-making and to break down the inequalities of wealth and power which inhibit participatory democracy. Parliaments should serve the best interests of all Australians; transparency and accountability in government decision-making at all levels are essential for democracy to flourish. Community participation requires citizens and groups to be fully informed on how to participate, with transparent and fair mechanisms utilised to translate community views into changes in policy and law. Community participation in planning should be enshrined in law and be an ongoing process." 

Currently support merits review and open standing in cases under national environment law and protection from court costs in public interest cases. Source 1, Source 2, Source 3Source 4


Test 26. Commit $1 billion annually by 2018 in a National Environment Fund?

Score

5 / 5

Comment

Commitment to "reserve systems that are comprehensive, adequate and representative of all of our unique ecosystems, supported by a nation-wide approach to protection and restoration of Australia's natural environment. A comprehensive, adequate and representative (CAR) system of reserves for Australia's unique and high conservation value freshwater ecosystems. A comprehensive, adequate and representative system of terrestrial, freshwater and marine protected areas, including all remaining areas of high conservation value, managed primarily to protect and restore biodiversity. The development, funding and implementation of recovery plans for threatened and endangered species and ecological communities, and threat abatement plans for nationally listed threatened processes."

Committed to $722 million for Landcare over forward estimates.

Commitment for a $2.6 billion environment funding package, including establishing a $130m Threatened Species Plan to map and protect critical habitats and re-establishing the Biodiversity Fund with $2 billion to invest in projects with biodiversity and carbon co-benefits.

Committed to increase government funding for water quality pollution control to a total of $2 billion over five years (2016-17 to 2020-21) including:

  • $500 million in new federal grant funding over five years to assist farmers to transition to more sustainable practices in relation to water quality pollution, to fund ‘landscape repair’ projects like revegetation, wetlands restoration and combating gully erosion; and
  • $1.2 billion Reef Repair Loan Facility over 5 years to help farmers transition to low-pollution farming methods. GBRMPA would supervise the facility, but would draw on the expertise of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Current projected funding for water quality initiatives totals $370 million over the next 5 years including $185 million from the federal government under the reef water quality programs and the Reef Trust and $185 million from the Queensland state government.

Committed to implementing a legal cap on water quality pollution on a catchment basis, which gradually decreases over the next 10 years. Will develop world-class water quality monitoring and reporting – with $15 million over the next four years would be for GBRMPA specifically to invest in robust, property-level water quality monitoring, modelling.

 Source 1, Source 2


Test 27. Rule out logging, mining and other unsustainable land and sea uses in Australia’s World Heritage Areas?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Commitment to the immediate protection of old-growth and high conservation value forests. The prohibition of mineral exploration and mining including the extraction of petroleum and gas, in residential areas, good quality agricultural land and terrestrial and marine nature conservation reserves, national parks, wilderness areas and other areas of high nature conservation value. Source


Test 28. Introduce national policies and regulations to protect and restore ecosystems along the Great Dividing Range, including establishing the Great Forest National Park?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

Commitment to "an immediate end to broad-scale land clearing to protect biodiversity and to arrest soil loss, river degradation and salinity. The immediate protection of old-growth and high conservation value forests. The management of re-growth forest to an old growth state to maximise biodiversity, carbon uptake and water yield, and for recreation and tourism, which are more valuable outcomes than logging. The revegetation of land, including salt affected land, with biodiverse native vegetation which can provide carbon sinks, hydrological management and biodiversity restoration. The protection, restoration and extension of the habitats of Australia’s native animals including marine and riverine species. The establishment of evidence based buffer zones in high conservation areas, with linkage and restoration of ecological fragments on public and private land." Committed to the establishment of the GFNP. Source 1, Source 2


Test 29. Create new tax incentives for the management and restoration of ecosystems on private land?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Policy states, "The tax regime can be a powerful tool to transform the economy using appropriate incentives and penalties that reward socially and ecologically responsible effort. A shift in taxation that helps restructure the economy by rewarding productive activity that avoids pollution, degradation of natural resources and rent seeking."

The Greens have committed to use incentives in the tax system for private landholders to improve the health and extent of ecosystems under their stewardship, and to protect land in perpetuity.

Source 


Test 30. Increase funding for Indigenous Protected Areas, scaling up to $30 million per annum by 2020 as part of a National Environment Fund?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

The Greens have committed to a $2b Biodiversity Fund that will support a program to expand and better manage our World Heritage Areas, national parks, Indigenous Protected Areas and private land conservation. Source


Test 31. Commit to supporting the employment of 5,000 Indigenous rangers by 2025?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Explicit commitment to increase funding for Indigenous Ranger program by $100m over next four years and to double ranger positions within a decade. (Caring for Remote Australia Policy) Source 1, Source 2


Test 32. Provide commitments to the expansion of sustainable tourism and renewable energy initiatives across northern Australia to benefit local communities?

Score

2 / 3

Comment

General support/vision for Northern Australian conservation and hybrid economy with critique of NAIF criteria, plus April 2016 commitment to a $1b Clean Energy Transition Fund to help workers exit the coal industry, but no explicit detail on alternative NAIF criteria. Source 1, Source 2


Test 33. Deliver the commitments made under the Murray Darling Basin Plan on time and in full, including the delivery of outcomes equivalent to 3,200 gigalitres in environmental water?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

Commitment to "planning and management of the equitable use of Murray-Darling Basin water resources, that limits extraction to environmentally sustainable levels, maintains the health and resilience of the river and its ecosystems, and supports sustainable food production and rural enterprises for the long-term viability and wellbeing of basin communities." Source


Test 34. Provide a plan to reward private landholders for managing floodplains to produce environmental benefits for the river system?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

No formal policy or commitment


Test 35. Adequately resource the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder to build and deliver its critically important portfolio of environment water?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

The Greens have committed to $122 million for the CEWH over forward estimates. Source


Test 36. Support and fund a science-driven program to eradicate invasive European carp in the Murray-Darling Basin?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

The Greens have committed $15 million for a science driven program for the eradication of invasive carp." Source


Test 37. Revitalise national water reform in Australia and set out a road-map for the recognition of Indigenous water rights?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Committed to "the inclusion of sustainable water use as a compulsory element of planning in Commonwealth, state or territory water reform legislation and agreements, including for new developments, mining, infrastructure and agricultural projects. The reinstatement of the National Water Commission to provide expertise on the health of Australia's water infrastructure. Integrated national catchment management to ensure sufficient environmental water flows in all catchments." 

Committed to "continue to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples to advocate for their increased involvement in water catchment planning and management, and in the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander water rights and the allocation of water for cultural flows."

Source


Test 38. Introduce a well-resourced and complete system of annual national and regional environmental accounts by 2019?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Stated that measures of national progress should include indicators of ecological sustainability and social wellbeing. The integration of broad measures of genuine national progress into the national accounts including the production of a comprehensive national balance sheet.

Committed to a national EPA that would "oversee timely delivery of comprehensive national environmental accounts and sustainability reports to Parliament."

Source


Test 39. Expand the mandate of the Productivity Commission to explicitly include environmental issues?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Notes that an independent EPA will conduct inquiries and advise government and the wider community on major national environmental policy issues.

Protecting our Precious Places policy states: "We already have independent expert bodies, like the Productivity Commission, to advise on economic matters. Now is the time to extend this principle to the environment that sustains us." Source


Test 40. Introduce transparent and independent analysis of the social, economic and environmental costs and benefits of all major projects by 2017?

Score

0.5 / 1

Comment

Commitment to accurate and independent environmental, health and social impact assessments addressing the true environmental, social and economic costs and benefits, rigorously applied and implemented on all mining proposals and projects. Government industry assistance to be subject to rigorous assessment of environmental, social and economic impacts.

"Fact-check and independently review all environmental impact assessments to make sure there is independent, evidence-based scrutiny of the claims made by proponents about the social and economic benefits of major projects." Source

 

 

How did we calculate these scores?

We measured the policies of each party against 40 tests set out in ACF’s National Agenda 2016. The tests are grouped under three broad headings: clean energy, cutting pollution and protecting nature. Together, these are the policy commitments we believe are required to protect people rivers, reefs, forests and wildlife for future generations.

We have ranked the 40 tests into three categories: critical issues (worth 5 marks), priority issues (worth 3 marks) and important issues (worth 1 mark). For each policy offering, we decide how many of the total available marks to award on the basis of how completely the policy fulfils our test. In some cases, such as where a policy unwinds existing environmental protection, we award negative marks. The total score out of 100 is our assessment of the strength of the party’s overall policy offering as it relates to the issues in ACF’s National Agenda. In the case of the minor parties on our scorecard, we haven taken into account their lesser relative capacity and have looked for strong in-principle commitments to deliver the policies our tests require, rather than detailed policy design. We have not assessed policy which falls outside our agenda.

Find out how the parties score on each issue

back to the scoreboard

Nick Xenophon Team

Here's how the Nick Xenophon Team rates against all 40 tests of success for our environment, with a detailed breakdown of weighting, scores and policy commitments.

Test 1. Policies to ensure clean renewables power 100% of Australia’s electricity by 2035, and 100% of all Australia’s energy before 2050?

Score

2.5 / 5

Comment

Supports the current renewable energy target, but has concerns that current rules are stacked against baseload renewables such as geothermal and solar-thermal. Supports the solar-thermal plants at Port Augusta. Wants to investigate feasibility of 100% renewable electricity by 2030. Supportive of investigating feasibility of reverse auctions. Commits to establishing or coordinating a national feed-in tariff recognising the contribution solar households make to the grid. Would commit to establishing a federally funded Community Powerhouses program in next term of government. 

Will commit to a goal of 50% renewable power (electricity only) by 2030.

Will invest at least $1 billion a year in renewable energy, including maintaining ARENA's funding. Source 1, Source 2


Test 2. Double the energy productivity of Australia’s economy by 2030?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

The Nick Xenophon Team is committed to doubling Australia's energy productivity by 2030.


Test 3. Retain the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Australian Renewable Energy Agency with existing or additional resources?

Score

2 / 3

Comment

Will 'maintain and strengthen' CEFC and ARENA. Source


Test 4. Introduce vehicle fuel pollution standards by 2017 to bring Australia into line with EU standards?

Score

0.5 / 1

Comment

Supports a review of the applicability of California's vehicle emissions standards to Australia. Source


Test 5. Stop public subsidies to polluting fossil fuel industries?

Score

0.5 / 3

Comment

"The Nick Xenophon Team supports an ongoing review of fossil fuel subsidies but would not want to see changes that would adversely impact on our farm sector and other sectors of the economy." 


Test 6. Phase out uranium mining?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

No policy to phase out.


Test 7. Advance a new approach for the responsible and transparent management of Australia’s radioactive waste?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

"The Nick Xenophon Team supports a new approach to the management of radioactive waste, based on transparency, scientific evidence and international best practice to assess a full range of waste management options to find a more responsible radioactive waste management outcome. Any proposal to store radioactive waste should be the subject of a referendum, the outcome of which would be binding on the government. We are extremely wary about the proposal to have a high level radioactive waste dump in Australia."


Test 8. Stop new uranium sales and nuclear cooperation agreements?

Score

-1 / 1

Comment

Supports uranium sales.


Test 9. Set pollution targets to progressively reduce our pollution and enable Australia to reach net zero climate pollution by 2050 at the latest?

Score

2.5 / 5

Comment

"As part of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, 195 countries including Australia agreed to keep global warming well below 2°C and aim to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C while working to achieve net zero climate pollution as quickly as possible. Strong pollution reduction targets will provide the basis for effective policy in line with this commitment, help limit the worst impacts of global warming, and help drive innovation and investment in clean energy."

Commits to reducing Australia's carbon pollution in line with the Climate Change Authority's recommendations (40-60% by 2030 on 2000 base levels). Source


Test 10. Be effective, durable, scalable and able to achieve the goal of reducing Australia’s climate pollution to net zero by 2050 at the latest?

Score

2 / 5

Comment

Supports an 'efficient emissions trading scheme' based on the Frontier Economics scheme. Stated: "the design of the scheme would need to maximise the environmental benefits whilst minimising economic impacts. I draw your attention to the work I commissioned with Malcolm Turnbull in 2009 from Frontier Economics which proposed an alternative Emissions Trading Scheme that was subject to robust modelling. I believe the Frontier approach needs to be re-visited." Source 1, Source 2


Test 11. Keep and adequately fund the independent Climate Change Authority, or similar independent authority that advises the government on climate change?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Committed to "Retaining and fully funding the independent Climate Change Authority."


Test 12. Commit our fair share of funding – $550 million in 2016-17, growing to $1.6 billion by 2020 – to the Green Climate Fund?

Score

0 / 3

Comment

No policy found.


Test 13. Provide a plan to phase out Australia’s coal-fired power stations, starting with the dirtiest, most inefficient and polluting power stations?

Score

0 / 5

Comment

Policy principles include: “Australia needs to quickly move toward a cleaner and more affordable energy future. This will involve reduced reliance on economically unsustainable technologies."


Test 14. Ensure no new coal mines or coal mine extensions are approved.

Score

0 / 5

Comment

No policy found. 


Test 15. Allocate funding for social and economic transition plans to retrain people who work in regions affected by the closure of coal operations, providing new opportunities for these communities?

Score

2 / 3

Comment

Committed to "the development of a clear and just transitions package to assist workers and communities impacted by the closure of coal-fired power stations. This should involve consultation with local communities who want a say in the future of their towns and regions."


Test 16. Introduce a federal plan to bolster mine rehabilitation securities from liable companies?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

"The Nick Xenophon Team will support the establishment of a national inquiry into mine closure and rehabilitation practices, adequacy and effectiveness of the current rehabilitation liability assessments and rehabilitation bond systems. There needs to be an evaluation of appropriate federal government responses through environmental and corporation law to ensure the full disclosure of financial liabilities for mine rehabilitation and the effectiveness of rehabilitation and closure regimes."


Test 17. Leverage investment and increase the amount of carbon securely stored in biodiverse natural landscapes in line with the goal of net zero carbon pollution by 2050?

Score

3 / 5

Comment

"There is enormous potential to store carbon in natural landscapes as well as protect and restore biodiversity across Australia. The Nick Xenophon Team supports policies that will leverage public and private investments that sequester carbon in natural, biodiverse landscapes as part of a national responses to climate change in order to reach net zero emissions by 2050."


Test 18. Maintain funding for the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Committed to continue funding for NCCARF to secure ongoing research.


Test 19. Introduce a national strategy and standards for sustainable and resilient cities and urban centres?

Score

2 / 3

Comment

Committed to "the introduction of a national strategy and standards for sustainable and resilient cities and urban centres."


Test 20. Provide funding support for state and local government implementation of adaptation strategies?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Stated: "Adaptation to climate change is essential to communities and the natural environment in Australia. The Australian government must work with state and local governments to deliver regional and local government adaptation strategies and ensure they are implemented effectively. This must involve the commitment of dedicated funding and resources from the federal government. The Nick Xenophon Team will support the next government to ensure that climate adaptation is addressed at all levels of government."


Test 21. Provide an effective national system of nature protection laws to protect and improve the health of Australia’s air, land, water and biodiversity by December 2018?

Score

3.5 / 5

Comment

Committed to having federal legislation to protect key environmental assets, rather than being dealt with on a state by state basis. NXT "believes that we need an effective and efficient system of national environmental laws to protect and improve the health of Australia’s land, air, water and wildlife." Source 


Test 22. Expand Australian government oversight of climate issues, water resources, native vegetation and reserves within 12 months of taking office?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

NXT commits to "Expand Australian government oversight of climate issues, water resources, native vegetation and reserves." Policy principle to "Protect groundwater (aquifers, including the Great Artesian Basin) from any adverse impacts of mining and coal seam gas exploration." Source


Test 23. Ensure the federal government has direct responsibility to regulate projects that impact on matters of national importance?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

NXT commits to "ensure the federal government has direct responsibility to regulate projects that impact on matters of national
importance" and Senator Xenophon has opposed the handover of federal approval powers. Source 1, Source 2


Test 24. Establish and adequately resource an independent statutory authority to administer our national environmental law by December 2018?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

NXT commits to "establish and adequately resource an independent statutory authority to administer our national environmental law."


Test 25. Ensure greater public access and accountability under national environmental law, including open standing provisions and merits review of decisions within 12 months of taking office?

Score

0.5 / 1

Comment

NXT commits "to maintain the right of environmental and community groups to pursue legal action under environmental legislation and ensure greater public access and accountability under national environmental law" and "maintain the right of environmental and community groups to pursue legal action under environmental legislation." Source


Test 26. Commit $1 billion annually by 2018 in a National Environment Fund?

Score

1 / 5

Comment

ʺThe Nick Xenophon Team supports the delivery of funding programs for on-ground conservation works, including the restoration of degraded landscapes, managing and revegetating catchments and protecting threatened species. NXT supports the establishment of an adequate fund to restore and protect our regional landscapes and environment."


Test 27. Rule out logging, mining and other unsustainable land and sea uses in Australia’s World Heritage Areas?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

"The Nick Xenophon Team does not support any logging, mining or unsustainable land or sea use within our World Heritage Areas, to protect our important international icons."


Test 28. Introduce national policies and regulations to protect and restore ecosystems along the Great Dividing Range, including establishing the Great Forest National Park?

Score

0 / 3

Comment

No policy or commitment found.


Test 29. Create new tax incentives for the management and restoration of ecosystems on private land?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

No policy commitment found.


Test 30. Increase funding for Indigenous Protected Areas, scaling up to $30 million per annum by 2020 as part of a National Environment Fund?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

"The Indigenous Ranger Program and Indigenous Protected Areas Program are some of the most successful Indigenous programs that have been run by the federal government to date. The Nick Xenophon Team supports the continuation of these programs, including doubling of Indigenous Rangers and increased funding for IPA’s."


Test 31. Commit to supporting the employment of 5,000 Indigenous rangers by 2025?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

"The Indigenous Ranger Program and Indigenous Protected Areas Program are some of the most successful Indigenous programs that have been run by the federal government to date. The Nick Xenophon Team supports the continuation of these programs, including doubling of Indigenous Rangers and increased funding for IPA’s."


Test 32. Provide commitments to the expansion of sustainable tourism and renewable energy initiatives across northern Australia to benefit local communities?

Score

0 / 3

Comment

No policy or commitment found.


Test 33. Deliver the commitments made under the Murray Darling Basin Plan on time and in full, including the delivery of outcomes equivalent to 3,200 gigalitres in environmental water?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

"The Nick Xenophon Team supports delivery of the commitments made under the Murray Darling Basin Plan on time and in full, including the delivery of outcomes equivalent to 3,200 gigalitres in environmental water." Source 1, Source 2


Test 34. Provide a plan to reward private landholders for managing floodplains to produce environmental benefits for the river system?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

The Nick Xenophon Team supports "in principle a reward system encouraging private landholders for managing floodplains to produce environmental benefits for the river system, and will work with the next government to design and implement such a system if elected."


Test 35. Adequately resource the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder to build and deliver its critically important portfolio of environment water?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

The Nick Xenophon Team supports "the adequate resourcing of the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder to manage, build and deliver its critically important portfolio of environment water to restore the Murray to good health."


Test 36. Support and fund a science-driven program to eradicate invasive European carp in the Murray-Darling Basin?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

The Nick Xenophon Team supports "a science-driven program to eradicate invasive European carp in the Murray-Darling Basin."


Test 37. Revitalise national water reform in Australia and set out a road-map for the recognition of Indigenous water rights?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

NXT policy states: "The existing national framework must be strengthened. Water security is vital to the national interest."

"As water is a critical issue to South Australia and the rest of our nation the Nick Xenophon Team will work with the next Parliament to create a revitalised national water reform agenda including a road map for the recognition of Indigenous water rights." Source


Test 38. Introduce a well-resourced and complete system of annual national and regional environmental accounts by 2019?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

No policy or commitment found.


Test 39. Expand the mandate of the Productivity Commission to explicitly include environmental issues?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

"The Productivity Commission’s legislative remit should be expanded to be a Productivity and Sustainability Commission. This will ensure the commission is better positioned to account for the economic, social and environmental benefits and costs of new policy approaches and drive a better, more productive and sustainable Australia."


Test 40. Introduce transparent and independent analysis of the social, economic and environmental costs and benefits of all major projects by 2017?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

"Infrastructure Australia should be specifically tasked with transparently assessing and accounting for the social, environmental and economic costs and benefits of major projects in Australia."

 

 

 

How did we calculate these scores?

We measured the policies of each party against 40 tests set out in ACF’s National Agenda 2016. The tests are grouped under three broad headings: clean energy, cutting pollution and protecting nature. Together, these are the policy commitments we believe are required to protect people rivers, reefs, forests and wildlife for future generations.

We have ranked the 40 tests into three categories: critical issues (worth 5 marks), priority issues (worth 3 marks) and important issues (worth 1 mark). For each policy offering, we decide how many of the total available marks to award on the basis of how completely the policy fulfils our test. In some cases, such as where a policy unwinds existing environmental protection, we award negative marks. The total score out of 100 is our assessment of the strength of the party’s overall policy offering as it relates to the issues in ACF’s National Agenda. In the case of the minor parties on our scorecard, we haven taken into account their lesser relative capacity and have looked for strong in-principle commitments to deliver the policies our tests require, rather than detailed policy design. We have not assessed policy which falls outside our agenda.

Find out how the parties score on each issue

back to the scoreboard

Glenn Lazarus Team

Here's how the Glenn Lazarus Team rates against all 40 tests of success for our environment, with a detailed breakdown of weighting, scores, and policy commitments.

Test 1. Policies to ensure clean renewables power 100% of Australia’s electricity by 2035, and 100% of all Australia’s energy before 2050?

Score

5 / 5

Comment

Supports reinstatement of Australia’s renewable energy target of 20/20 (41,000GW); an increase in the RET for 2030; increased investment in the renewable energy sector; the establishment of a national ‘feed in’ tariff for roof top solar users; incentives and programs to support the adoption of roof top solar across the business sector and domestic and commercial rental/lease market; an increase in the use of renewable energy across the country.

Stated that "A renewable Energy Target to power 100% of Australia’s electricity by 2035, and 100% of all Australia’s energy (electricity, transport and industrial processes) before 2050 from renewable sources should be supported by a strong plan that will unlock investment in new technologies."

"The Glenn Lazarus Team will support the following policies to ensure that Australia is able to benefit from the best and most abundant natural resources we have – clean energy.

  • Commit to an expanded and flexible RET of 100% out to 2035. An expanded RET will continue to play an important role supporting a suite of technologies, by providing a long-term goal that signals to investors the pathway of renewable energy growth.
  • Introduce national renewable energy capacity auctions within the expanded RET. Auctions can be used to support the build of specific technologies in specific geographies to ensure the integrity of the grid.
  • Maintain and strengthen ARENA and the CEFC. ARENA and the CEFC have played an essential role in facilitating the development and commercialisation of renewable energy projects in Australia.
  • Resource community efforts to build clean renewable energy in towns and suburbs across Australia. 
  • Support household and business uptake. The Glenn Lazarus team calls for a target for the number of solar PV rooftops to drive greater investment certainty; continuation of the Small Scale RET Scheme (SRES); and installing solar PV on all new and existing public housing stock. 
  • Build up Batteries. Establish a mechanism to reward distributed generators (households and businesses) for the full value of distributed electricity exported to the grid and ensure the development of minimum standards for new battery storage technologies. 
  • Reboot the National electricity market and gear-up the grid. The Glenn Lazarus Team will commit to a review by 2017 to align current rules, regulations, laws, institutions (AEMO, AEMC, COAG Energy Council) and market structures with a new set of objectives around a clean energy transformation.

Source


Test 2. Double the energy productivity of Australia’s economy by 2030?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

Commits to double Australia’s energy productivity by 2030.


Test 3. Retain the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Australian Renewable Energy Agency with existing or additional resources?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

Commits to maintain the CEFC and ARENA, and has stated that "ARENA and the CEFC have played an essential role in facilitating the development and commercialisation of renewable energy projects in Australia." Source


Test 4. Introduce vehicle fuel pollution standards by 2017 to bring Australia into line with EU standards?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Commits to "set ambitious vehicle emissions standards to start in 2017 that bring Australia into line with current European Union standards by 2020, and a further phased approach to reach the EU’s 2021 standard by 2023.
Also commits to measures to support electric vehicle uptake including:

  • In 2017, set a target for 50 per cent of all new car sales in Australia to be EVs by 2026. 
  • In 2017, introduce an Australian Electric Vehicle Strategy."

Source


Test 5. Stop public subsidies to polluting fossil fuel industries?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

"The Glenn Lazarus Team supports the following reforms to stop incentivising pollution, and make significant budget savings:":

  • Reform the Fuel Tax Credit Scheme, with a cap of $20,000 per claimant. In the 2015-16 federal budget, the Fuel Tax Credits Scheme cost the taxpayer more than $6bn. This would save an estimated $15.4bn over the forward estimates.
  • Abolish aviation fuel excise concessions. Immediate abolition of the concession in the 2016-17 federal budget would save over $6bn over the forward estimates.
  • Remove statutory effective life caps/accelerated depreciation. Statutory effective life caps should be phased out in 2018-19. This would promote economic growth by allowing resources to flow to the most economically efficient businesses and sectors of the economy, be equitable and reduce pollution. This would save the federal budget $1.65bn in 2018-19 alone.

Source


Test 6. Phase out uranium mining?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

No policy or commitment found.


Test 7. Advance a new approach for the responsible and transparent management of Australia’s radioactive waste?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

The Glenn Lazarus Team is committed to supporting a new approach to the management of radioactive waste, based on transparency, scientific evidence and international best practice to assess a full range of waste management options to find a more responsible radioactive waste management outcome.


Test 8. Stop new uranium sales and nuclear cooperation agreements?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

No policy found.


Test 9. Set pollution targets to progressively reduce our pollution and enable Australia to reach net zero climate pollution by 2050 at the latest?

Score

5 / 5

Comment

Commits to strong carbon pollution reduction targets that include:

  • 25 per cent reduction on 2000 levels by 2020;
  • 45-65 per cent reduction on 2005 levels by 2025;
  • 65-85 per cent reduction on 2005 levels by 2030; and
  • Zero net climate pollution by 2040-2050.

Source


Test 10. Be effective, durable, scalable and able to achieve the goal of reducing Australia’s climate pollution to net zero by 2050 at the latest?

Score

3 / 5

Comment

Commits to "support policies and programs that are effective, durable, scalable and able to achieve the goal of reducing Australia’s climate pollution to net zero by 2050 at the latest, including long-term market and/or regulatory mechanisms." Includes implementation of a national annual limit on carbon pollution, consistent with our national emissions reduction targets, to ensure emissions are falling year-on-year across the economy as a whole. Source


Test 11. Keep and adequately fund the independent Climate Change Authority, or similar independent authority that advises the government on climate change?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Commits to keep and adequately fund the Climate Change Authority. Source


Test 12. Commit our fair share of funding – $550 million in 2016-17, growing to $1.6 billion by 2020 – to the Green Climate Fund?

Score

0 / 3

Comment

No policy found. 


Test 13. Provide a plan to phase out Australia’s coal-fired power stations, starting with the dirtiest, most inefficient and polluting power stations?

Score

4 / 5

Comment

"The Glenn Lazarus Team supports phased closure of Australia’s coal-fired power stations, starting with the dirtiest, oldest and least efficient." 

"The Glenn Lazarus Team supports development of the renewable industry to create sustainable jobs for Queenslanders, and the development of a plan for the phased closure of Australia’s dirty power stations, which includes a target for retirement by 2020, and full retirement of all other coal-burning power stations before 2035."  Source


Test 14. Ensure no new coal mines or coal mine extensions are approved.

Score

1 / 5

Comment

Supports “a ban on future CSG mining approvals, a ban on the approval and conduct of resource projects on or near agricultural and farming land, residential areas and fragile environmental areas and a ban to stop all fracking." Source


Test 15. Allocate funding for social and economic transition plans to retrain people who work in regions affected by the closure of coal operations, providing new opportunities for these communities?

Score

2 / 3

Comment

"A just transitions package must be developed to assist workers and communities impacted by the closure of coal-fired power stations. This should involve consultation with local communities who want a say in the future of their towns and regions."


Test 16. Introduce a federal plan to bolster mine rehabilitation securities from liable companies?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

The Glenn Lazarus Team has committed to support the establishment of a national inquiry into mine closure and rehabilitation practices and the adequacy and effectiveness of the current rehabilitation liability assessments and rehabilitation bond systems. It has also stated "there needs to be an evaluation of appropriate federal government responses through environmental and corporation law to ensure the full disclosure of financial liabilities for mine rehabilitation and the effectiveness of rehabilitation and closure regimes." Source


Test 17. Leverage investment and increase the amount of carbon securely stored in biodiverse natural landscapes in line with the goal of net zero carbon pollution by 2050?

Score

3 / 5

Comment

The Glenn Lazarus Team has committed to "supporting climate policies that leverage and diversify investment in the land sector and restore biodiversity. It has committed to support active investment by Government and appropriate policies that will enable farmers and landholders to access resources to manage carbon on their lands along with the co-benefits of supporting biodiversity. Land sector policies will be a key factor in achieving net zero pollution by 2040-50, and done right, will provide benefits to regional Australia, landholders and the environment."


Test 18. Maintain funding for the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

No policy or commitment found. 


Test 19. Introduce a national strategy and standards for sustainable and resilient cities and urban centres?

Score

2 / 3

Comment

"The Glenn Lazarus Team supports introduction of a national strategy and standards for sustainable and resilient cities and urban centres including requirements for green space, tree cover, building standards, sustainable transport accessibility, and support for state and local government adaptation strategies. Every local community needs green spaces for sports, events and enjoyment." Source 


Test 20. Provide funding support for state and local government implementation of adaptation strategies?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

"With 89 per cent of Australians living in urban areas, the Australian Government must work with state and local governments to deliver regional and local government adaptation strategies and ensure they are implemented effectively. This must involve the commitment of dedicated funding and resources from the Federal Government to ensure communities are effectively prepared for extreme temperatures." Source


Test 21. Provide an effective national system of nature protection laws to protect and improve the health of Australia’s air, land, water and biodiversity by December 2018?

Score

3.5 / 5

Comment

The Glenn Lazarus Team has committed to "the reform of federal environment laws to make sure the federal government has the power, resources and capabilities to effectively protect our communities, environment and biodiversity and regulate activities that undermine Australia’s efforts to tackle global warming, stop species extinction and protect our water resources." The party has stated "Our national environment laws need to be strengthened and improved, not weakened and degraded. Developing a robust set of national laws and programs is a critical step to safeguarding our future." Source 


Test 22. Expand Australian government oversight of climate issues, water resources, native vegetation and reserves within 12 months of taking office?

Score

2 / 3

Comment

The Glenn Lazarus Team has committed to "the reform of federal environment laws to make sure the federal government has the power, resources and capabilities to effectively protect our communities, environment and biodiversity and regulate activities that undermine Australia’s efforts to tackle global warming, stop species extinction and protect our water resources." The party has stated "Our national environment laws need to be strengthened and improved, not weakened and degraded. Developing a robust set of national laws and programs is a critical step to safeguarding our future." Source


Test 23. Ensure the federal government has direct responsibility to regulate projects that impact on matters of national importance?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

Glenn Lazarus opposed One Stop Shop in previous Parliament. Currently supports retention of federal oversight on matters of national environmental significance. Source 


Test 24. Establish and adequately resource an independent statutory authority to administer our national environmental law by December 2018?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

"The Glenn Lazarus Team calls for an independent and adequately resourced statutory authority to administer our national environmental laws. Such a body would increase transparency and depoliticise decision making. Australia needs an independent national environmental agency to administer national environment laws and coordinate national nature conservation strategies. This agency must be free from political interference and partisan decision making, be defined in law and have sufficient capacity, resources and systems to regulate, monitor and implement environmental legislation and conservation programs." Source


Test 25. Ensure greater public access and accountability under national environmental law, including open standing provisions and merits review of decisions within 12 months of taking office?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Glenn Lazarus has opposed repeal of s.487 of the EPBC Act.

"The Glenn Lazarus Team supports reform to federal environment laws to ensure greater public access and accountability. Environmental laws should be strengthened to establish the right to review a decision on the basis of its merits and for legality. We should also establish third party enforcement rights to enable the community to hold decision-makers to account. By allowing open standing provisions we are improving the scope of administrative law because decision makers will be held to account by the community." 


Test 26. Commit $1 billion annually by 2018 in a National Environment Fund?

Score

5 / 5

Comment

Glenn Lazarus Team has committed to well designed and targeted programs that connect key biodiversity areas across the country. "This program would engage and empower local communities and partners to restore and protect critical habitats and implement recovery actions for our most threatened species. A National Environment Fund that scales up to $1 billion by 2018 will be needed to implement these programs at the scale necessary to effect meaningful change."


Test 27. Rule out logging, mining and other unsustainable land and sea uses in Australia’s World Heritage Areas?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Glenn Lazarus Team has committed to opposing "mining, logging, and other incompatible activities in World Heritage areas. We must protect our assets to ensure we have jobs in the tourism industry which is the largest tertiary industry in Queensland." Source


Test 28. Introduce national policies and regulations to protect and restore ecosystems along the Great Dividing Range, including establishing the Great Forest National Park?

Score

0 / 3

Comment

No policy or commitment found.


Test 29. Create new tax incentives for the management and restoration of ecosystems on private land?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Glenn Lazarus Team has committed to supporting improving our tax system to reward responsible landholders who protect and restore environmental values on their property for the benefit of all Australians. Source


Test 30. Increase funding for Indigenous Protected Areas, scaling up to $30 million per annum by 2020 as part of a National Environment Fund?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

The Glenn Lazarus team has committed to stable, long-term funding for the continued operation of Indigenous Protected Areas. Source


Test 31. Commit to supporting the employment of 5,000 Indigenous rangers by 2025?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Glenn Lazarus Team has committed support to " an increase to federal funding for the highly successful Indigenous Ranger program
to achieve a target of 5,000 rangers by 2025 with long-term certainty of funding to 2030". Source


Test 32. Provide commitments to the expansion of sustainable tourism and renewable energy initiatives across northern Australia to benefit local communities?

Score

3 / 3

Comment

Glenn Lazarus Team has committed to ʺsupport[ing] using the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to resource projects that will build an environmentally sustainable and more resilient economy for people living across the north. Boost high value nature and culture based tourism, and invest in a clean renewable energy future for northern Australia, beginning by building a network of large-scale solar farms." Source


Test 33. Deliver the commitments made under the Murray Darling Basin Plan on time and in full, including the delivery of outcomes equivalent to 3,200 gigalitres in environmental water?

Score

0 / 3

Comment

No policy or commitment found.


Test 34. Provide a plan to reward private landholders for managing floodplains to produce environmental benefits for the river system?

Score

0 / 1

Comment

No policy or commitment found.


Test 35. Adequately resource the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder to build and deliver its critically important portfolio of environment water?

Score

0 / 3

Comment

No policy or commitment found.


Test 36. Support and fund a science-driven program to eradicate invasive European carp in the Murray-Darling Basin?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Glenn Lazarus Team has committed to support a science led program to tackle invasive European carp and investigate action to look at redundant infrastructure that inhibits the movement of native fish. Source


Test 37. Revitalise national water reform in Australia and set out a road-map for the recognition of Indigenous water rights?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Glenn Lazarus Teams has stated "Australia needs to initiate national water reform during the next term of Parliament to promote healthy catchments and make sure we do not repeat the mistakes of the past in the over-allocation of surface and ground water. This process should include:

  • A national process to assess and approve catchment water resource plans, especially in Northern Australia, to ensure there is equitable access to water resources across different users; and
  • Develop and implement a formal road-map for the recognition of equitable water rights for Indigenous communities across Australia."

Test 38. Introduce a well-resourced and complete system of annual national and regional environmental accounts by 2019?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

The Glenn Lazarus Team supports a comprehensive system of annual national and regional environmental accounts being introduced by the Australian government.


Test 39. Expand the mandate of the Productivity Commission to explicitly include environmental issues?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

The Glenn Lazarus Team has committed support for "Expand[ing] the mandate of the Productivity Commission to explicitly include environmental issues." Source


Test 40. Introduce transparent and independent analysis of the social, economic and environmental costs and benefits of all major projects by 2017?

Score

1 / 1

Comment

Has committed to "support the independent review of all major projects for their social, environmental and economic costs and benefits". Source

 

 

How did we calculate these scores?

We measured the policies of each party against 40 tests set out in ACF’s National Agenda 2016. The tests are grouped under three broad headings: clean energy, cutting pollution and protecting nature. Together, these are the policy commitments we believe are required to protect people rivers, reefs, forests and wildlife for future generations.

We have ranked the 40 tests into three categories: critical issues (worth 5 marks), priority issues (worth 3 marks) and important issues (worth 1 mark). For each policy offering, we decide how many of the total available marks to award on the basis of how completely the policy fulfils our test. In some cases, such as where a policy unwinds existing environmental protection, we award negative marks. The total score out of 100 is our assessment of the strength of the party’s overall policy offering as it relates to the issues in ACF’s National Agenda. In the case of the minor parties on our scorecard, we haven taken into account their lesser relative capacity and have looked for strong in-principle commitments to deliver the policies our tests require, rather than detailed policy design. We have not assessed policy which falls outside our agenda.

Find out how the parties score on each issue

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