Federal Budget Update: 9 November 2010 – Good news fell like manna from heaven in today’s budget update from the Federal Government as funding was announced for greening buildings, low carbon communities and carbon farmers.

Environment and Energy Efficiency Minister Greg Combet revealed the details this afternoon, as part of today’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook released by the Federal Government. They included:

  • Implemention of Tax Breaks for Green Buildings, at a total cost of $150 million over four years and estimated at around $1 billion over the life of the scheme. Through this measure, businesses that retrofit certain commercial buildings to significantly improve energy efficiency between 1 July 2011 and 30 June 2015 will be able to apply for a one?off bonus tax deduction.
  • The $80 million Low Carbon Communities program to assist local councils and communities to reduce carbon emissions and energy costs through energy efficient upgrades to community facilities, street lighting and council buildings.The program will also support investment in co-generation facilities.
  • Funding of $45.6 million over four years for the Carbon Farming Initiative to develop methods for Australian farmers, forest growers and landholders to generate credits that can be sold in domestic and international carbon markets, receiving income for taking action to reduce Australia’s carbon emissions

Other climate change related news included:

  • $5.2 million over two years to establish the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee to examine options for the introduction of a carbon price and assist in building community consensus for action on climate change;
  • $5.6 million over four years to establish the Climate Change Commission, which will provide an independent source of information and expert advice to explain the science of climate change, report on the progress of international action and explain how a carbon price would impact the Australian economy;

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