Environment Victoria Acting CEO Mark Wakeham said today:
“Of all the decisions the Napthine Government has made to protect existing coal generators and prevent renewable energy projects from proceeding this is the most ideological and nonsensical. They are scrapping a scheme that is reducing the cost of living, particularly in low income communities, has created 2000 jobs, and is saving government money in reduced energy concessions.
“This was the one state program that was helping to weather-proof and draught-seal homes and support the installation of efficient appliances like solar water heating and LED light bulbs, making Victorian homes cheaper and more comfortable to live in.
“This decision by the Coalition will lead to the loss of more jobs that the closure of the Alcoa aluminium smelter at Point Henry with over 2000 Victorian jobs created by the target. The Coalition claims to care about Victorian jobs but is choosing to destroy an important industry and employer. It appears their ideological opposition to clean energy outweighs any concern for jobs.”
“The only winners from this decision are energy retailers and generators GDF Suez, AGL and Energy Australia who are systematically lobbying governments to protect their polluting businesses from clean energy competition, whether it’s renewable energy projects or energy savings programs. By allowing Victoria’s energy policy to be written by the owners of our most polluting power stations the Coalition is failing to protect the environment, Victorian consumers and the public interest.
“Given the Coalition’s failure to develop good policy it’s critical that the Victorian ALP now commits to continuing the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target scheme if it wins November’s State election.”