Mixed results for environment programs in Budget
The Federal Budget has axed a number of failing green initiatives in the country’s 2011-12 Budget.
The cuts include substantial funding reductions in areas such as cutting coal mining industry emissions, carbon capture and storage areas and the shutting down of the failed Green Loans, the Home Insulation Safety Program and Green Start.
The cuts across the green area include:
Cuts to the sector include:
- $420 million over five years from Carbon Capture and Storage Flagships
- $45 million over two years for Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute
- $150 million to Solar Flagships program
- 12.8 million from National Low Emissions Coal Initiative
- $85 million from the National Urban Water and Desalination Plan
- ceasing the National Rainwater and Greywater Initiative, saving $15 million over three years.
- $18 from the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy
However, new initiatives have been announced including:
A $10.0 million National Wildlife Corridors Plan is being developed for wildlife planning in line with Caring for our Country objectives.
$84.2 million to continue the Environmental Stewardship Program, provided through Caring for our Country. The program gives landholders access to 15-year grants so they can take long-term action on their land to reduce grazing intensity, control weeds and feral animals and protect key species and ecological communities.
Funding of $4.0 million over four years will be provided from existing grants programs within the department to continue activities to control Yellow Crazy Ants on Christmas Island.
$9.7 million to finalise the Regional Marine Planning Program. The program is developing an integrated environmental planning framework across Australia’s Commonwealth waters, enabling the Government to make strategic decisions under the EPBC Act.
The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC) will deliver the $29.2 million Sustainable Australia – Sustainable Regional Development program to enable additional strategic assessments by the Commonwealth under the EPBC Act of plans by state and local governments for priority high growth areas.
$10.1 million will be provided from 2011–12 to 2014–15 to establish a set of headline sustainability indicators to cover economic, social and environmental issues relevant to communities.
DSEWPaC will also administer $100.0 million to help local and state governments plan and provide for increased employment opportunities outside capital city CBDs.
Funding of $13.2 million has been provided to maintain the Department’s functions in Antarctica and a further $3.4 million for shipping support for Australia’s Antarctic Program. Funding for the Australia-Antarctic Airlink of $11.7 million will also continue in 2011–12. DSEWPaC is reviewing its existing operations and longer term capability requirements in the region to support Australia’s presence in Antarctica.
$845 million for water infrastructure and sustainability projects across Australia. Support for infrastructure forms part of the $12 billion, ten-year Water for the Future initiative to deliver infrastructure funding, voluntary water purchases for the environment and improved water management arrangements.