Environment Victoria welcomed the state government’s Green Jobs Action Plan released by Premier Brumby today.
The Plan, in development for the past year, will create new green jobs particularly in the areas of energy and water efficiency, while the already announced increase to the landfill levy will deliver a strong boost to recycling industries.
However, Environment Victoria said the plan will need to be followed up with more substantial policy measures in the State Government’s Climate Change White Paper and election platform to transition the State to a sustainable future.
Environment Victoria’s Campaigns Director Mark Wakeham said today: “After a week in which the federal government walked away from leadership on climate change it’s reassuring to see the state government investing in programs that will cut emissions and water use.”
“The standout elements of the package are the $60 million investment in greening government buildings, the strong investment in green skills and trades, and the investment in recycling made possible by landfill levy increases.”
“Promises to cut approvals times for environmentally friendly buildings and clean energy projects are also welcome provided that communities are still properly consulted and engaged in approvals processes.’’
Mr Wakeham said that while all the measures in the package were an improvement on the status quo, some could have been more ambitious, including the introduction of a 6 star standard for new homes.
“Given that many Victorian commercial builders are already building new homes to a 7 star standard we are disappointed that we will only be moving to a 6 star standard, and even that move will take another 12 months. Research by RMIT has found that the most affordable standard would be a 7.2 star standard when household running costs are considered.”
“We would also like to have seen a major commitment to retrofitting existing homes for energy and water efficiency, which is critical given that 96% of Victorian homes were built prior to introduction of the 5 star standard.”
“Last year governments around the world announced substantial green jobs packages in response to both the climate crisis and the global financial crisis. Countries like South Korea, China, Germany and the US launched programs to create millions of green jobs. Last year Environment Victoria identified five industries in which 26,000 Victorian green jobs could be created*. It’s good to see Victoria now enter the green jobs race with a solid, if modest, package.
“In the forthcoming Climate Change White Paper and ahead of the state election we look forward to larger and more ambitious commitments to ensure Victoria is a global leader in the green jobs race, and that we take the decisive action we need to clean up our energy supply, ensure our buildings are water and energy efficient and protect and restore our natural places.”
*Victoria the Green Jobs State can be found here
Mark Wakeham, Environment Victoria Campaigns Director, on 0439 700 501
Media contact: Daniel Clarke on 9341 8113 or 0407 771 072