Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Brisbane's Action Plan

You may remember a few weeks back, the Brisbane City Council received and debated the Call for Action report. Well now the Council has come up with it's response, entitled Plan for Action on Climate Change and Energy.

You can view or download the report from the Council website. Then you can submit your feedback via the website or by emailng Don't you just love democracy? You can also read other people's feedback on the website.

If you want to read my email to Council, click on the "comments" link below.

1 comment:

david said...

Dear Brisbane City Council

Congratulations on your acceptance of the Climate Change report, and the enthusiasm with which you have acted upon it, producing the City's Strategic Plan. I support your engagement with the challenge of reducing greenhouse emissions and encourage you to continue to act on this matter.

On reading the Climate Change and Energy Action Plan, some items came to my attention. Most of them relate to transport, as that is one of the main contributors to greenhouse emissions, and an area that Brisbane City Council has a great deal of influence over. Therefore the opportunity presents itself for the Council to make serious greenhouse reductions by taking positive leadership in this area.

Public Transport

Two of the proposed actions under Recommendation 15 were not included in the City's Plan - proposed actions (a) and (g). The first of these was an increase in bus priority lanes. Surely the time saving in a bus lane would be a major incentive for people to switch to public transport. The second was an investigation of economic incentives in relation to fares. Surely this would be another major factor affective the usage of public transport. Price signalling is one of the key aspects of changing public decision making.

Just a quick personal illustration on public transport. Living in Taringa, getting to West End should be a short walk and 300m ferry trip directly across the river from Guyatt Park. Yet the current pricing means that the incentive is in favour of driving Moggill Road, Coronation Drive, William Jolly Bridge, and doubling back through South Brisbane to West End. Surely this incentive should be reversed. Currently the Guyatt Park-West End ferry has the same effect as a $2.20 toll bridge - people will drive their car 8 km to avoid it.

Yes, you could spend vast quantities of money on advertising - imploring citizens to reduce greenhouse gases, or you could just knock a dollar off the price of a simple cross-river trip.

Cycling and Walking

Congratulations on adopting the recommendations on this. You can never do too much in this area. Also, it's a triple win for the City of Brisbane (1) reduced greenhouse gases (2) improved recreational aspect (3) improved public health. Keep up the good work on this one.

Alternative Transport Systems

Why was recomendation 17 not taken up? I hope it has just been put on the back burner - and will be revisited in due course. Alternative transport systems, especially ones that produce even less greenhouse gases, are surely worth looking into at some point.

Price Signals

I noticed in Recommendation 18 that there are a number of opportunties to provide price signals. Recommendation 18 (a) Changing the economics of city travel. Recommendation 18(g) enabling bus ticket travel packages through salary sacrifice. Recommendation 18(h) incentives for better vehicles - be they more efficient, alternative fuel or hybrid.

None of these three recommendations made it through to Action 18. This is still puzzling. Providing a price signal would have to be one of the easiest - and yet most effective - actions that council could take.

In each of these areas I encourage Council to consider including the ommitted recommendations (or sub-sections thereof) and support Council's enthusiasm for the promotion of cycling and walking.

In conclusion, i would once again like to congratulate the Council for its initiative in this area, and encourage Council to continue to be courageous in its implementation of the Climate Change and Energy Action Plan.

Climate Change is clearly the most pressing issue facing society, and history will judge the people of today, particularly the leaders, in terms of our response to it. You have our support. Please create a Future Brisbane that we will always be proud of.

David Weddell