Climate, Environment and Waste

Climate Action

A significant boost in funding for the Climate Action Fund in the 2022-23 Budget is an important step in addressing the longer-term environmental challenges facing local communities throughout the State. 

As the peak body for Local Governments, WALGA welcomes the focus on zero emissions vehicles, in particular the $5 million in grants to Local Governments for charging infrastructure.  However, WALGA is disappointed there was no funding from the Climate Action Fund to support and extend grass roots environmental initiatives being delivered by Local Governments such as tree planting and management of coastal erosion.

The key initiatives in Climate Action included:

  • $500 million boost to Climate Action Fund taking the total to $1.25 billion
  • Almost $60 million to accelerate the use of zero emission vehicles, with $22.6 million for charging infrastructure, which includes $5 million in grants available for Local Government to install charging infrastructure.
  • $31 million for climate action research and planning, which will support various initiatives to assist State Government agencies to reduce carbon emissions.
  • An additional $30 million for the Just Transition Plan to support regional communities to transition to new industries when native forest logging ends in 2024.
The allocation of $2 million towards the E-Waste Landfill ban is also welcomed, however there is no detail provided on how these funds will be expended.  WALGA anticipates the funding will continue the development of the electronic waste recycling industry in WA.
It is disappointing that the Budget did not include funding for Food Organic Garden Organics (FOGO) infrastructure or market development, as matching State Government funding is needed to access the Commonwealth’s recently announced Food Waste for Healthy Soils Fund. WALGA’s Pre-Budget Submission identified the need for $14 Million in investment in FOGO processing infrastructure and market development to ensure the State Government’s State Waste Strategy Targets can be met.
Native Vegetation
WALGA welcomes the Government announcement of $3.3 million for the implementation of the soon-to-be-released Native Vegetation Policy.  The intent is the Policy will be a whole-of-government approach, with actions across several agencies.
It is intended this funding and the Policy will address the decline in native vegetation, improve consistency and transparency across government processes and enhance the State’s capability to map and monitor native vegetation. Funding has been confirmed for the first two years of the program.

The Budget includes an increase in expenditure in some areas of biosecurity but an overall decrease in staffing at the Department of Industry Regulation and Regional Development (DPIRD):
  • An allocation of $1.2 million for biosecurity incidents and support in 2022-23, however a significant decrease in funding for this activity in the outyears.
  • A reduction in staffing for Agricultural and Fisheries Biosecurity and Integrity portfolio from 477 in 2021-22 to 465 in 2022-23.
  • Ongoing funding to address invasive pests, one example is the, including the Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer, which has been allocated $875,000 for the 2022-23 financial year.  This is  significant for  Local Government, as the Borer could impact street trees, parks and reserves.
  • $5 million for the Wild Dog Action Plan, comprising:
    • $2 million for the replacement and extension of the State Barrier Fence to limit entry of wild dogs, emus and kangaroos to high value agricultural areas. 
    • $3 million for the completion of the Wild Dog Action Plan 2018–20 and commencement of the Plan 2022-25.