Our Plan

Issue 14

Protecting Our Environment

The Turnbull Government is committed to protecting Australia’s magnificent natural environment.

Protecting the Great Barrier Reef

Our Reef 2050 Long Term Sustainability Plan is the most comprehensive plan ever developed to protect the Great Barrier Reef for future generations.

The Coalition has put in place an historic ban on capital dredge disposal in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park – ending a 100 year old practice.

$2 billion is being invested by Australian governments on projects that include improving water quality, reducing sediment and nitrogen run off, removing crown of thorns starfish and improving our scientific knowledge of the reef.

The Coalition is establishing a $1 billion Reef Fund focussed on the two biggest threats facing the Great Barrier Reef: climate change and improving water quality.

The Reef Fund will mobilise up to $1 billion in investment finance over 10 years for clean energy projects that help tackle these two key threats.

The Reef Fund builds on the $210 million Reef Trust which is delivering better environmental outcomes in Reef catchments by reducing sediment and nitrogen run-off and tackling coral-eating Crown of Thorns starfish outbreaks.

Our work to protect the Great Barrier Reef resulted in the World Heritage Committee declaring last July that Australia was a global role model for the management of World Heritage properties.

Supporting renewable energy

The Turnbull Government will double large scale renewable energy in Australia over the next four years.

Under the Renewable Energy Target, more than 23% of Australia’s electricity will come from renewable energy by 2020. We are supporting large scale projects, while at the same time making solar more affordable for households.

We are encouraging new technology to assist in the transition to clean energy, through the $1 billion Clean Energy Innovation Fund. This Fund will target projects such as large-scale solar.

Tackling climate change

To protect our environment for future generations, we need to tackle climate change.

As a country, we are playing our part in the global challenge on climate change. Australia has signed the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

We are on track to beat our 2020 target by 78 million tonnes, and have set an ambitious target of reductions of up to 28% by 2030 based on 2005 levels. That is equivalent to reducing emissions per capita by up to 52%– the second largest reduction of any G20 economy.

We will meet our targets without Labor’s Carbon Tax, which made electricity more expensive for all Australian families. We are investing $2.55 billion to incentivise business to reduce their emissions through our Emissions Reduction Fund.

Projects we’ve supported include carbon farming to increase carbon in the soil, energy efficient lighting for town councils, supporting re-vegetation and bushfire reduction.

We are also implementing a National Energy Productivity Plan, reducing emissions from ozone-depleting gases and supporting investments in new technology such as solar storage.

Supporting on-ground environmental projects

Right around Australia, young local people are delivering environmental projects in their communities through the Green Army. We have already launched more than 700 teams across the country, involving more than 5700 young Australians.

We are investing $1 billion in natural resource management through the National Landcare Programme.

The Coalition will continue to deliver on our $50 million commitment to plant 20 million trees by 2020, with almost 13 million trees already committed for planting over the next three years.

As well, we are greening our cities as part of the Coalition’s cities agenda.

Protecting our threatened species

Australia has some of the most unique flora and fauna on the planet and we’re protecting our native wildlife with the launch of Australia’s first Threatened Species Strategy and the appointment of Australia’s first Threatened Species Commissioner.

The Threatened Species Strategy targets the key threats to our wildlife, in particular feral cats. Funding for projects to protect our threatened species has already topped $200 million, including the creation of a new dedicated Threatened Species Recovery Fund.

Our National Environmental Science Program is supporting this work, with projects that deliver research projects in the field.

Protecting Australia’s heritage

The Turnbull Government's Australian Heritage Strategy sets out the action we are taking to support and promote our remarkable natural, historic and Indigenous heritage.

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.

One stop shop

We have maintained environmental standards whilst reducing the red tape. We have established a one stop shop for environmental assessments with every state and territory – cutting the double handling of assessments for projects.