Blog | 28th Apr, 2011

at next Tuesday’s budget? 

Budget time is where the real priorities of governments are revealed. As has been said many times, real commitment is demonstrated when you put your money where your mouth is!

To date, the state government has been missing in action on our environment.

Unfortunately we know all too well the regressive actions they’ve taken like returning cows to national parks and making it harder to build a wind farm than a coal mine in Victoria. But we’ve seen no plan to make headway on the big environmental challenges like meeting the state’s target to reduce emissions by 20 percent by 2020 or to assist in saving the mighty Murray.

New governments deserve a chance to find their feet. The Baillieu Government has been in power for over five months now and we are yet to hear even a vague in-principle commitment to safeguarding our environment and growing new green industries and jobs.

Next Tuesday’s budget will set the state government’s spending priorities to June 2012, which is not far short of half their term of government. So its vitally important that we see significant funds for environmental programs both to meet their election environment commitments (few as they were) and deliver the sort of progress on the environment that survey after survey shows Victorians want.

We’ll be watching what the effects of the budget will be for the state’s environment.

  • Will greenhouse gas emissions increase or decline as a result of the budget?
  • Will the budget help break Victoria’s coal addiction and support clean energy?
  • Will the budget drive water and energy efficiency and help curb rising utility bills?
  • Will there be new spending to rescue our rivers and improve biodiversity protection?
  • Will funding for sustainable transport outweigh spending on new roads?
  • Will landfill levies be increased to boost recycling and create green jobs?

These are the sort of questions we’ll be asking as Treasurer Kim Wells delivers his first budget next Tuesday. Let’s hope the answers are positive and put Victoria on a pathway to a safe, clean future for our kids.


We were disappointed to see the Australian Industry Group urging the state government to lower Victoria’s emissions reduction target from 20 percent to 5 percent in their pre-budget submission.

They argued that Victoria’s target should be consistent with the national target. Every serious analysis completed shows that the economies that act early to reduce emissions will be the economic powerhouses of the 21st century. Victorian businesses can and in some cases already are delivering job-rich climate solutions. The Australian Industry Group and the state government need to get on board if they don’t want Victoria left behind in the race for clean energy industries.