Blog | 29th Jun, 2011

of the disappearing climate policy

Long before photoshop, in post-World War 2 Soviet Union Joseph Stalin had an interesting and macabre habit. When one of his Ministers or apparatchiks fell out of favour with him, he would have them disappeared.

As well as being sent to the Gulag, all traces of them would be removed from historical records and photographs. Official photos would have heads removed and replaced with the Premier Stalin’s newest political disciples.

Things are much more civilised in 21st century Victoria. However it seems we have a contemporary example of a political disappearing act.

In recent days or weeks all traces of Victoria’s Climate Change White Paper: “Taking Action for Victoria’s future” have been removed from Victorian Government websites. While other Brumby Government White Papers remain on-line, for example the Land and Biodiversity White Paper still appears on government websites, it seems that the Climate Change White Paper has been sent to the Gulag.

This disappearing act occurs on the eve of Victoria’s Climate Change Act becoming law. As of the 1st July 2011 Victoria’s legislated target to reduce emissions by 20 percent by 2020 becomes law. The Baillieu Government has not yet outlined its plan to achieve this target. However aside from disappointingly walking away from negotiations to close Hazelwood power station, the Baillieu Government has not publicly annulled the White Paper, and indeed committed to some of the White Paper’s actions in their pre-election energy policy.

Plans to apply emissions intensity standards for new power stations, secure 5 percent of Victoria’s energy from large scale solar by 2020 and for improving the average standard of Victorian homes to 5 stars are all Coalition policy. Another White Paper action, doubling Victoria’s Energy Efficiency Target, was implemented by the Coalition last month. So why disappear the White Paper?

The Baillieu Government has been accused of having no clear plan for achieving the legislated target. Now it seems the State Government is deliberately creating a climate change policy vacuum.

Well, as they say, nature abhors a vacuum and so do we at Environment Victoria. So for the record, and for anyone interested (including you Ted), we’re publishing the Climate Change White Paper and the White Paper Implementation Plan on our website. We’d suggest it’s a pretty good starting place for the Baillieu Government to begin developing a plan to cut our emissions, and thus it should be recalled from the Gulag.

See Victoria’s Climate Change White Paper for yourself

Check out the Victorian Climate Change White Paper Implementation Plan too