A new report into the Baillieu Government’s environmental record into the state’s environment has found that the decisions taken by the government will have a detrimental effect on Victoria’s food and energy security, cost of living and liveability.
Environment Victoria CEO Kelly O’Shanassy, who commissioned the report, said a public poll of over one thousand Victorians shows the government’s decisions are not aligned with the aspirations of the community.
“The report shows that Victoria is heading down the wrong path when it comes to keeping Victorians’ power and water costs down, ensuring we have a liveable city and clean and efficient power production and a healthy environment.
“Our research shows that the majority of Victorians think the environment is getting worse under the Baillieu Government.
“Victorians want more efficient and less polluting energy, cleaner rivers, and more efficient water use.
“The polling found that Victorians are proud of their environment and the benefits it provides to their lives.
“Interestingly, many Victorians do not know about some of the damaging decisions made by the Baillieu Government such as making new wind farms difficult to build and reducing support for solar power. When they learned about the actions of the Baillieu Government they didn’t support those actions.
“Victorians want liveable cities, not urban sprawl. They want the government to make decisions that enhance the natural environment and ease the pressure on the cost of living. But the government’s decisions are taking us in the opposite direction.
“The report summarises the findings of the poll, and details the broken environmental promises and the environmentally damaging decisions of the Baillieu Government and assesses their impact on regional areas”, said Ms O’Shanassy.
“The report includes a summary of what Victorians want in various areas of environmental policy, what decisions the Baillieu Government has taken and what a smart state would do instead.
– Scrapping the plan to cut Victoria’s greenhouse pollution. (76 per cent of Victorians think the state government has a responsibility to reduce greenhouse pollution.)
– Making solar power more expensive for Victoria’s families. (78 per cent of Victorians want more solar and wind power).
– Announcing plans to dig up Victorian holiday places and farmland for mega-brown coalmines. (Only 7 per cent of Victorians want more coal and 63 per cent want less coal over the next five years).
– Supporting polluting coal while destroying investment and jobs in wind and solar energy. (50 per cent think the Government’s wind farm planning laws are unfair, while only 22 per cent think they are fair.)
– Undermining national attempts to save the Murray River. (Providing enough water to the Murray Darling Basin was rated second most important thing to do to protect Victoria’s rivers and waterways.)
Ms O’Shanassy said the report shows significant public concerns about Melbourne’s liveability, energy efficiency, cost of living and food and energy security.
“The addition of six new suburbs to Melbourne’s fringe with limited public transport and services and which destroy green wedges will not reduce congestion or improve the liveability of Melbourne.
“A smart state would be managing the current sprawl, protecting grasslands and green wedges, and investing in public transport to ease congestion and pollution.
“The Baillieu Government has made some progress in making homes and businesses more efficient, but there’s still no plan for a large scale retrofit of Victorian homes for water and energy efficiency to reduce the cost of power and water and reduce consumption.
“At a time when smart governments are investing in renewable energy like solar and wind to reduce the impact on the environment the Baillieu Government is making solar more expensive and wind harder to build.
“At the same time, it’s considering new coal fired power stations and mining and exporting more highly polluting brown coal.
“Victorians are missing huge opportunities because of the decisions of this government. We could be making power and water use more efficient, investing in cleaner forms of power and new jobs, and protecting our rivers and food production but instead we’re moving backwards.”
– Environment Victoria is launching a public advertising and community campaign to highlight the environmental, social and economic impacts for Victoria as a result of the Baillieu Government’s environmental policies.
– Environment Victoria will also embark on a regional tour to highlight the state-wide environmental impacts of the Baillieu Government’s decisions.
For further comment:
For more information please call
Adrian Dodd 0401 726 476
Kelly O’Shanassy 0421 054 402