UPDATE: 6th March 2020
It’s been a busy few weeks for our Gas-Free ACT campaign!
Firstly, a huge thank you to everyone who signed and shared our petition calling on the ACT Government to stop rolling out new gas – to ALL new residences in the ACT. The ACT Government has a climate change plan to phase out gas in the ACT by 2045, so it seems sensible to us that not putting new houses onto dirty polluting gas is a good place to start!
As such, changes to the planning laws which took away the rule that made gas pipes mandatory in new suburbs was very welcome. However it really only brings the ACT into line with other Australian jurisdictions where gas is already optional for new developments. But we think the ACT Government could go further, and stop all new homes being connected up to the gas network.
In positive news, Evoenergy has indicated that they won’t be rolling out gas pipes in new suburbs from 2021, as per their draft plan for the gas network – a win for the community! But what the GN21 plan does reveal is that Evo plans to spend $34.8m over the five year period 2021–26 connecting new dwellings in established suburbs, including multi-unit developments. This is in spite of the ACT Government’s clear policy to phase out gas!
You can let Evo know that you don’t want any more Canberra households to be reliant on a dirty fossil fuels to heat their homes, hot water and cook with – it’s time to go all-electric! Provide feedback on their draft plan by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org
ACT community petition — No new gas for Canberra
Our petition is now closed
Thank you to everyone who signed our petition. We encountered universal support from every Canberran we spoke with about the need to phase out gas in the ACT and the need for decisive policy now to prevent further expansion of the gas network.
Here’s what our petition said and called for
Gas is a dirty polluting fossil fuel. To reach our emissions targets, and build a safe climate, the ACT needs to get off gas. With the ACT running on 100% renewable electricity, running clean energy houses is easier than ever. A national leader, the ACT has committed to zero net emissions by 2045, and our Climate Change Strategy commits to getting off gas by 2045. But Evoenergy is continuing to roll out the gas network to new suburbs, and expand their customer base over the next 5 years. The ACT Government has made no moves to stop the gas network expansion, despite this being the cheapest and easiest way to reduce emissions over the next 5 years.
I call on the ACT Government to:
- Immediately remove the existing mandate for gas infrastructure in new developments in the ACT.
- Stop the roll out of new gas networks in all new suburbs.
- Stop all newly constructed residences from joining the gas network.
Read our work about gas in the ACT
The Conservation Council does lots of work behind the scenes to be proactive about responding to arising issues and Government policy updates. Here is some of our work relating to our campaign to transition Canberra off gas.
27th February 2020: Our media release responding to Evoenergy’s plans for the gas network 2021–26
17th January 2020: Our media release in response to the ACT Government Draft Variation 373 removing the mandatory requirement for gas pipes in new suburbs.
5th December 2019: Our media release launching our community petition calling for no new gas.
25th November 2019: Submission to the ACT Government Sustainable Energy Policy 2021-2025
Our gas campaign news
The Conservation Council ACT Region, Pedal Power and Living Streets Canberra have launched a community petition calling on the ACT Government to take strong action to show they are serious about dealing with our climate emergency. implement key measures that will improve travel options for Canberrans who walk, cycle and use public transport.
The Conservation Council ACT Region has called on the ACT Government to stop the roll out of gas infrastructure to new suburbs to ensure policy consistency as the ACT aims for net zero emission by 2045.
Our thoughts on the ACT Budget: it looks too much like business as usual rather than responding to a climate emergency.
The Government’s Integrated Transport Strategy had lots of great ideas, but lacked the objectives and targets it needed to set out a clear pathway to improve public and active transport.
Gas was a hot topic at the Environment Exchange in March – in cold Canberra, how do we get off the gas so that we can cut our greenhouse emissions further over the next decade?