As we head into what has been forecast to be yet another major bushfire season, it is heartbreakingly clear that we need to do more about the climate crisis — and we need to do it faster.
Decarbonising our roads is one of the fastest ways to not only reduce our overall emissions but to significantly improve the environment we live in. Transport is the third-largest source of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. We need to urgently rethink our use of cars, buses, trains and bikes if we are to meet our climate targets.
This is a challenge for all levels of government and here in North Sydney, there are various incentives and initiatives already underway to improve how we get around.
Our community has historically led the charge in electric vehicle registrations, but current EV models remain out of reach for many households. New Fuel Efficiency Standards, which the Federal Government has promised to introduce later this year, are expected to unlock a wider range of cheaper, cleaner vehicles in the months ahead.
While the Government's proposed standards focus on new cars, my team and I are also pushing for amended fuel quality standards to reduce the emissions from the 20 million petrol- and diesel-powered vehicles that are already on the road today. You can find out more about the Private Members Bill we introduced last November and add your voice to our petition for change here.
Meanwhile, the NSW Government is in the process of electrifying buses, expanding Sydney's bicycle path network, and providing more public transportation options with new metro stations at Chatswood, St Leonards and Victoria Cross due to open next year.
Road pollution impacts not only the climate but also the health and well-being of our families. Here in North Sydney, we not only live next to one of the most congested stretches of road in the country — with the 4km stretch of road from Harbour Bridge through to Artarmon often gridlocked with traffic coming to and from the CBD — but are also losing the green areas that we so desperately need for shade and clean air.
We need all hands on deck and I hope that you'll join me in decarbonising our roads and homes. Here's to being the change we want to see.