(L-R): Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Labor leader Bill Shorten and Greens leader Richard Di Natale on the campaign trail.

There’s one month left until the election. With policies still being announced it’s unclear how the built environment and sustainability sectors stand to fare, but here’s what we know so far.



The Coalition has committed to reducing carbon emissions by 26-28 per cent based on 2005 levels by 2030. It’s centrepiece carbon reduction strategy is the Emissions Reduction Fund, which provides $2.55 billion to fund carbon reduction activities in business.

The Coalition supports the current Renewable Energy Target, however it was behind it’s recent reduction from 41,000 to 33,000 gigawatt-hours following an industry-crippling review.

The National Energy Productivity Plan promises to improve energy productivity by 40 per cent by 2030.

It has announced it would not axe the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, but has taken away ARENA’s grant funding capacity and provided it $1 billion of CEFC funding for a Clean Energy Innovation Fund.

The party said it would commit $5 million funding for up to $15,000 in grants to community groups to install rooftop solar PV, solar hot water, small scale renewables and battery storage systems, as part of a Solar Communities program.


Labor’s climate reduction policy is a 45 per cent carbon pollution reduction on 2005 levels by 2030, which will be achieved through a two-phased internationally linked Emissions Trading Scheme.

Labor has committed to ensuring 50 per cent of energy is renewable by 2030. It will enter into PPAs equal to bringing Commonwealth energy use up to 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

It has committed to doubling energy productivity by 2030.

It will retain the CEFC, and will “sit down with ARENA” to discuss funding.

It has committed $98.7 million over four years to establish Community Power Network and Community Power Hubs, to support the delivery of renewable energy in social and community housing, rental properties and apartments.


The Greens emissions reduction target is a 60-80 per cent cut on 2000 levels by 2030 and net-zero pollution by 2040.

The Greens’ Renew Australia Plan would see at least 90 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

It has committed to doubling energy productivity by 2030.

It would see Clean Energy Finance Corporation funding raised to $30 billion.

The Greens would introduce a 50 per cent refundable tax credit for people installing battery storage systems.



Through the Green Army, the Coalition is planting 20 million trees by 2020 in a $70 million investment it says improves green spaces in local communities and creates habitats for wildlife.

The Coalition will also invest $30 million in a plan to support local parks and environment, through grants to local councils, community groups, environment groups and others.

It has provided $210 million to tackle issues on the Great Barrier Reef.


Labor has committed to “reinvigorating” the Carbon Farming Initiative and COAG National Vegetation Management Framework, and will work to make sure there is consistent reporting of land and tree clearing across States and the Commonwealth.

It has committed $500 million for “a comprehensive and collaborative approach” on the Great Barrier Reef over five years, which includes $123 already committed by the Coalition.


The Greens are committed to a coal closure plan to support its renewable energy target, with fossil fuel subsidies to be directed towards environmental causes, such as assisting the Reef.

They have also given a commitment to introduce national measures to end broad scale clearing and incremental loss of native vegetation including the degradation of native forests.

They have committed $722 million for Landcare over the forward estimates.



The Coalition has said it is spending $50 billion to 2019-2020 on road and rail infrastructure projects across Australia.

The Smart Cities Plan advocates a city deals infrastructure approach, and commits $50 million for infrastructure planning.

Through the Smart Cities Plan, there is $4 billion committed to public transport.

It has also announced a commitment to $43 million in funding to the Flinders Link rail project, building a 650-metre extension of the Tonsley rail line to the Flinders Medical Centre and Flinders University.

The Coalition will also provide $150 million toward the Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor, improving the freight line.

It will invest $20 million to support the development or finalisation of feasibility assessments and business cases for 14 water infrastructure projects across Queensland.


Labor has said it will “empower Infrastructure Australia” to become an active participant in the infrastructure market.

“Just as the Reserve Bank of Australia is the independent authority at the centre of monetary policy, Infrastructure Australia will be at the centre of capital investment, driving results that are in the national interest,” its policy states.

This “concrete bank” would operate similarly to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, with a $10 billion financing facility.

Proposed major infrastructure projects will be required to incorporate smart infrastructure technology and sustainability measures before projects qualify for Commonwealth funding.

Labor will also establish a High Speed Rail Authority.

It has committed to funding Perth’s Metronet expanded rail proposal, with a $1 billion contribution to planning and construction.

It will also commit $100 million to build a new stadium in Townsville, Queensland.

It has released a 10-point-plan for cities that involves investing in integrated and active transport, addressing housing affordability, supporting fibre to premise NBN, supporting renewable energy including buildings and precincts that produce their own power in new developments, and rehabilitating urban waterways.

There is $1.25 million to Australian Bicycle Council to develop a national strategy for bicycles.


The Greens just-announced transport policy includes a commitment to $10 billion funding for projects over the next four years, including:

  • $1 billion for Sydney light rail connections
  • $1 billion for Airport Rail in Melbourne
  • $500m for MAX Light Rail in Perth
  • $500m for the AdeLINK tram network
  • $82m for Hobart Light Rail
  • $2bn for Brisbane Cross River Rail
  • $400m for Canberra Light Rail stage 2

It also includes a $250 million a year Active Transport Fund for bikes and walking infrastructure; $250 for arterial road works, and $500 million to shift freight onto rail, and $201 million in infrastructure and fleet grants to accelerate electric vehicles.

The Greens have also thrown support to high speed rail, though the policy is yet to be released.

Funding would come from an Australian Infrastructure Bank, which would command $75 billion of Commonwealth investment.

  • The Australian Conservation Foundation has release a scorecard of how the three major parties rate on environmental issues.

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  1. $1.25 million for bicycle planning? $0.06 per head – one off? It’s a drop in the ocean!

    The Dutch government spends 13 euros per head per year on bicycle planning. That’s what you need to get results.

    I suppose it’s still better than the Coalition’s promises…