State government's climate action vision lists Kangaroo Island desalination plant, hazard reduction

The state government has released what says is the most powerful vision for climate action of any South Australian government in history.

The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Two projects on Kangaroo Island - the construction of a new desalination plant at Penneshaw and also ongoing hazard reduction to minimise bushfire risk - have been listed as key components.

SA Water's existing desalination plant at Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island. Photo SA Water

SA Water's existing desalination plant at Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island. Photo SA Water

SA Water recently held an information night at Penneshaw to discuss its plans to expand the existing desalination plant.

The Islander has submitted a list of questions to SA Water, including its power usage and supply, as well as plans for its byproducts.

DUDLEY BURN: Briefing CFS and NPWSSA fire crews before a prescribed burn at Lashmar Conservation Park. Photo NPWSSA

DUDLEY BURN: Briefing CFS and NPWSSA fire crews before a prescribed burn at Lashmar Conservation Park. Photo NPWSSA

The other KI component regarding ongoing collaborative hazard reduction burning to reduce fuel loads has also been covered in recent weeks in the Islander

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs meanwhile said the Climate Change Action Plan 2021-2025 provided an ambitious practical approach to dealing with a changing climate, built a strong green economy and further reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

The plan includes 68 actions, across seven focus areas, that build on South Australia's leadership in renewable energy to increase investment and jobs in low emissions and climate resilient business and industry over the next five years.

South Australia's transformation to a net zero emissions economy and a national and international exporter of clean energy could mean achieving a level of renewable energy that is more than five times the current local grid demand by 2050.

Mr Speirs said the Action Plan had been developed with input and advice from renowned climate change expert Professor Ross Garnaut AC and the Premier's Climate Change Council.

"Today the Marshall Liberal Government proudly launches the South Australian Climate Change Action Plan 2021-2025, our practical approach to help build a strong, climate smart economy, further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and support South Australia to adapt to a changing climate," Mr Speirs said.

"Demand for low emissions and climate smart products is growing, and South Australia is well equipped to use our abundance of sun, wind and other natural resources to take full advantage of this growing demand.

"The Marshall Liberal Government is committing to a range of actions that will support progress towards our state's goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

"We recognise that acceleration of South Australia's response to climate change will require leadership and action by governments, industries, businesses and the community. Importantly, our Government will work to create a business environment that drives market-led opportunities.

"The Plan includes practical actions including renewable energy investment, greening our cities to cool them, supporting agricultural adaption and innovation, helping business and communities to address climate risk, adapting natural resources, and improving our ability to plan and prepare for more frequent bushfires and other natural hazards.

"This Plan will lead us to be a stronger, more resilient export economy - both domestically by exporting power through interconnectors to NSW and Victoria and internationally as exporter of clean hydrogen and other low emissions products."

Premier's Climate Change Council chairman Martin Haese said the Climate Change Action Plan 2021-2025 outlined practical actions that government wa taking now, as well as critical work to lay the foundation for the next five years.

"This Climate Change Action Plan will accelerate South Australia's climate change response and help build a climate smart state that is more prosperous, liveable and resilient," Mr Haese said.

The Marshall Liberal Government's recent budget builds on the already significant investment in climate change action.

HAZARD REDUCTION: Prescribed burn undertaken several years ago by the National Parks and Wildlife Service SA at Western River, Kangaroo Island. Photo: Department for Environment and Water

HAZARD REDUCTION: Prescribed burn undertaken several years ago by the National Parks and Wildlife Service SA at Western River, Kangaroo Island. Photo: Department for Environment and Water

New funding, linked to the Climate Change Action Plan that was announced in the budget includes:

  • Additional $18 million for the Home Battery Scheme
  • $8.5 millionin 2020-21 - New solar photovoltaic and battery storage capacity at the Central Power House in Umuwa
  • $37 million over 4 years for upgrade upgrade of the Port Bonython jetty to support hydrogen and ammonia export
  • $19.8 million contribution to SA Water's new desalination plant on Kangaroo Island
  • $18.3 million over 4 years for electric vehicle charging infrastructure
  • $28 million over 4 years to undertake more hazard reduction burns in the Mount Lofty Ranges and in Kangaroo Island as well as on private conservation lands in collaboration with landholders and the Country Fire Service
  • $60 million over 2 years for capital upgrades to government buildings to improve energy efficiency and deliver long-term electricity cost savings to the state, prioritising upgrades across the government's largest energy users

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