• Brian Phillips

The ALP Responds to Questions from the EAG

The EAG wrote recently to the major political parties outlining the issues we thought were important in this election. The ALP has replied with a comprehensive summary of their policies covering all the issues we raised with them: carbon emissions, transport and infrastructure, waste and plastics, drilling for oil and gas in the Great Australian Bight, the Murray-Darling river system, bio-diversity and disposal of radio-active waste. As other parties and candidates respond, we will post summaries on this web-site.

A brief summary of the most important points from the ALP follows:

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction

  • Labor is committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 45% on 2005 by 2030 and that includes increasing renewable energy in our electricity system to 50% by 2030.

  • To tackle emissions from transport, there will be an electric vehicle policy (50% new vehicle sales to be electric by 2030) and new vehicle emissions standards.

  • Nothing explicit is said concerning expanding public transport, but Labor pledges to return Infrastructure Australia to the centre of the government's decision making process.

Waste and Plastics

  • In consultation with the states, Labor will work towards a national ban on micro-beads and single-use plastics.

  • There will be a national container deposit scheme and education to help the community find solutions to waste management.

  • Labor will invest in the domestic recycling industry.

  • A program will be implemented to clean up our waterways and rivers to stop plastics reaching the ocean.

A New Environment Act

  • Labor proposes creating a Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Drilling for Oil and Gas in the Great Australian Bight

  • On drilling in the Great Australian Bight, Labor will be guided by an independent assessment informed by the best available science.

The Murray Darling Basin

  • The 1500GL cap on water buybacks will be repealed.

  • The Murray-Darling Basin Authority's compliance functions will be moved to the new EPA and there will be a full review of the claims that public servants acted unlawfully.

  • Climate Change impacts on the Basin will be reviewed.

  • The Menindee agreement for the management of the lakes will be renegotiated.


  • A Native Species Protection Fund will be established to restore numbers of endangered plants and animals and eliminate non-native pests.

Radioactive Waste Disposal

  • In any proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility, sites will have to meet technical, geological and environmental criteria. They must have community support and traditional owners will be involved.

[The full response can be found here.]

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