Nick Xenophon Team

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.