The plan forms part of a ‘Green New Deal’ for Victoria and includes:
· A big build of renewable energy. The government must fast-track new laws so that Victoria can host Australia’s first off-shore wind farm in Gippsland, creating 2,000 direct jobs and 10,000 indirect jobs during construction.
· Reviving our manufacturing industries with renewable energy. Alcoa’s aluminium smelter in Portland should be given a $50 million grant so that it can be upgraded to run with renewable energy and act as a ‘reverse battery’ to bring down energy costs for all Victorians.
· Weather-proofing every home. In contrast to the Liberals’ $25,000 ‘granite benchtop grants’, the state government could offer energy efficiency grants to make sure every home in Victoria is warm, safe and affordable.
· Solar for every public housing home. The government should put solar and batteries on the 24,000 free-standing public housing homes around the state to bring down bills and create more jobs for electricians and solar installers.
· Upgrading our energy system. This would include retiring the state’s three old, unreliable coal power stations by 2030 and replacing them with new wind, solar and storage, as well as buying back our transmission network and upgrading it to allow solar and wind projects that are currently blocked.
Acting Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell, said Victoria was at a crossroads and needed to decide whether it would continue to provide a lifeline to coal and gas companies or create a future with a safe climate and secure jobs.
She added that on the back of climate-fuelled bushfires, a global pandemic and its subsequent economic crisis, protecting people and dealing with climate change must go hand in hand as part of any good government response.
The Greens’ renewable energy-led recovery plan would create 15,000 jobs in weather-proofing all Victorian homes, 15,000 jobs in big renewable energy and storage projects, 1,500 jobs in clean aluminium manufacturing and thousands more in installing solar, energy efficiency and associated industries.
Quotes attributable to Acting Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell MP:
“The Andrews Labor Government has already set aside $24 billion to revitalise our economy coming out of COVID-19, and it’s critical that this is used to protect both people and the planet.
“Our recovery plan is bold and would see Victoria become a clean energy super-power in the midst of a climate crisis.
“Instead of continuing to provide a lifeline to big coal companies or billionaires, let’s invest in creating jobs, building big renewable energy projects and creating a better future that’s safe from the worst impacts of climate change.”