The Coalition's Policy to Support Your Local Parks and Environment

Key Commitments

The Coalition will deliver real and practical improvements to your local parks.

Every community values their local environment – parks, nature reserves, rivers, wildlife and coastal areas.

We know that you and your family value your local parks and environment.

The Coalition has a strong track record of practical action to improve local environments.

More than 700 local environmental projects have been rolled out through the Green Army, including projects to improve parklands and restore rivers and beach fronts.

We are planting 20 million trees by 2020 in a $70 million investment that improves the green spaces in local communities and creates habitats for our wildlife.

Our Emissions Reduction Fund is supporting practical local projects like capturing methane from local landfills, which cleans up the local environment and helps tackle climate change.

We will do more to support the local parks and environment that are at the heart of Australia’s communities and neighbourhoods.

The Coalition will invest $30 million in a plan to support your local parks and environment.

We will deliver grants to local councils, community groups, environment groups and others to support the revitalisation, maintenance, management and improvement of local parks, including nature reserves, rivers, coastal areas and community facilities.

Matching contributions will be encouraged from local councils, community groups and other sources. The Programme will be complemented by Green Army teams undertaking projects to improve the local environment throughout Australia.

Our commitment will make your local parks better.

The Coalition will also support local responses to climate change by investing in a Solar Communities programme.

Our commitment will deliver funding of up to $15,000 to community groups to install rooftop solar PV, solar hot water, small scale renewables, and battery storage systems. This will help local communities tackle climate change, while delivering lower electricity costs for community organisations.

We will also invest in Australia’s lifesavers who keep our local beaches safe.

Our Plan to Support Your Local Parks and Environment

The Coalition will invest $30 million in improving local environments across Australia.

Local parks, nature reserves, and coastal and river areas. They provide substantial benefits to neighbourhoods, society, and the nation.

As the South Australian Government notes:

“Residents who have nature nearby, or who regularly pursue nature related activities, have greater neighbourhood satisfaction, and have better overall health than residents who do not.

Nature in high density urban living can reduce vandalism, violence, crime rates, ease racial tension or prejudices, and result in neighbourhood and personal transformation.

Contact with nature can foster a sense of identity and ownership, and provide a sense of integration rather than isolation for newly arrived migrants, as well as enhance skills and knowledge in local communities.”

A recent review into the health benefits of parks for the Victorian Government found that:

“…the evidence connecting parks and health is substantial, offering strong justification for the promotion of, and investment in, parks as settings that enhance the health and wellbeing of community members across their lifespan…

Due to the potential for enhancement of physical wellbeing through accessing parks and public outdoor spaces, local parks and accessible wilderness areas offer a convenient and cost effective setting for health promotion.”

Well maintained local parks and nature reserves provide jobs by supporting tourism and small business. They improve the appeal of neighbourhoods and increase the value of both surrounding real estate and amenities.

The Coalition will do more to improve local environments that are at the heart of communities.

Our plan will deliver real and practical improvements to your local parks.

1. Improving Your Local Parks and Environment Programme

We will invest $24 million in a new Improving Your Local Parks and Environment Programme.

The Programme will deliver grants to local councils, community groups, environment groups and others to support revitalisation, maintenance, management and improvement works at local parks, nature reserves, rivers, coastal areas and community facilities.

Projects could include facility improvements, weed management, walkways, community gardens, riverside walks and riparian erosion management.

Matching contributions from local councils, community groups and other sources will be encouraged.

As part of our Programme, we will invest $1 million over three years in organisations that build environmental awareness, including Keep Australia Beautiful, Clean Up Australia, Banksia Foundation and Tangaroa Blue. This will help reduce local littering and keep local environments healthy.

The Improving Your Local Parks and Environment Programme will support local jobs and help ensure communities have better and more accessible green spaces.

The Improving Your Local Parks and Environment Programme will be complemented by the Green Army. Local Green Army teams of young Australians will continue to undertake projects across Australia to improve the local environment, such as rehabilitating degraded park lands, cleaning up river banks and restoring coastal areas.

Your local parks will be better places under our commitment.

2. Local responses to climate change

The Coalition will support local responses to climate change, which will also deliver lower electricity costs for community organisations.

Our existing Solar Towns programme is supporting over 100 solar projects in community organisations across Australia and delivering over 1,500KW of new solar generation capability for our economy. This new solar generation capability will reduce power bills for community groups, while also saving around 4,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year.

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.

Eligible projects will include:

  • rooftop solar PV, solar hot water and small scale renewable projects with or without direct connection to battery storage systems
  • battery storage systems where the applicant demonstrates that the system is to be connected to an existing rooftop solar PV or small scale renewable system, on the same community owned or local council owned building

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.

Hundreds of community organisations will benefit from this programme.

We will also expand eligibility to include local council buildings owned and managed for use by community organisations, where it can be demonstrated that the installations will deliver lower electricity bills to community organisations over the long term.

3. Providing cleaner outboard engines for Australian surf life savers

The Coalition will invest in our surf life savers who keep our local beaches safe.

We will provide $1 million to support upgrades to cleaner outboard engines used by surf lifesaving clubs.

Surf Life Saving clubs will be supported to purchase cleaner engines and reduce their running costs through lower fuel use. Grants will be up to $1,000 per outboard engine.

Our commitment will support practical local action to tackle climate change, while also providing efficiency benefits to these important local groups.

The Choice

The Coalition has a track record supporting practical action to improve the local parks and environment that communities live in.

We will continue to invest to make your neighbourhood parks and green spaces better places.

Under our Green Army programme, some 6,000 young Australians have worked on more than 700 local environmental projects.

Our Emissions Reduction Fund is working. It delivers carbon emissions reductions at low cost to our economy through innovation, investment, and jobs growth.

Our existing Solar Towns programme is supporting over 100 solar projects in community organisations across Australia. Our Solar Communities programme will create opportunities for many more community groups to go solar.

We will meet and beat Australia’s 2020 carbon reduction target and we will reduce our emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2030. We have signed the Paris Agreement on climate change as we play our part in this global challenge.

We have also established a $1 billion Clean Energy Innovation Fund to support emerging technologies to make the leap from demonstration to commercial deployment.

We are doubling large scale renewable energy over the next four years through the Renewable Energy Target, supporting the transition to a low emissions economy.

Labor’s approach to the environment is to tax businesses, increase costs for households and undercut Australia’s competitiveness.

Labor wants to reintroduce a carbon tax – a tax that increases your bills and makes your electricity more expensive.

Labor has no answer on how it will reach its increased renewable energy target – an increase that will see a huge rise in your electricity bills, job losses, and more expensive goods and services across the economy.

Labor’s track record in Government was characterised by failure.

Incompetence and mismanagement were the hallmarks of the Rudd-Gillard Labor Government, from the disastrous Home Insulation Programme to the failed Cash for Clunkers scheme and the Green Loans scandal.

Labor cannot be trusted with the environment.

Costs

The Coalition will invest $30 million in our plan to support your local parks and environment.

Download PDF