News | 22nd Oct, 2011

Victoria state agenda to be centred on ETS costs

Saturday, 22 October 2011
John Ferguson, The Australian

The cost impact of the national emissions trading scheme will form the centrepiece of the Baillieu government's review of Victoria's climate change agenda. 

Victoria's Environment Minister Ryan Smith will announce today he has hired a former senior bureaucrat to audit state climate change legislation, which includes the commitment to an emissions reduction target of 20 per cent by 2020.

This legislated cut is based on 2000 levels and Labor's package also committed the government of the day to report every two years on climate change science and emissions data.

It also requires the government to develop a climate change adaption plan every four years, outlining the climate change impacts and risks to Victoria.

Mr Smith said the review would be headed by Lynne Williams, the former under secretary for the state's Treasury and Finance Department.

"This review will help to provide greater coordination between federal and state-based activities to address our impact on the climate and the climate's impact on us," he said.

"It is imperative that we avoid duplication and minimise the waste of Victorian resources, while making the most of any opportunities that may be identified in the review."

The review will examine the impact of the carbon price and what action the government can take to ensure its policies work.

The government will announce the review today, opening up the process to submissions from stakeholders.

The decision to hold the review was taken out of government's hands because state Labor included a legislative trigger that forced a review of the Climate Change Act once federal legislation was introduced.

The government has been under constant pressure over its commitment to the 20 per cent by 2020 target.

Senior ministers have questioned whether the target is achievable and even whether it is enshrined in legislation, which it is.

The review will also give the government another opportunity to highlight the cost impact of the federal package.


We've been keeping an eye on the environmental performance of the state government. See how they're going here