Media Releases | 20th Oct, 2017

Victoria stands up to Turnbull, votes for renewable energy future

The Victorian Parliament has today voted in favour of a renewable energy powered future, passing a bill to enact the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET).

“In a week when the federal government has been playing politics with our climate, this vote signals that Victoria is getting on with the job of repowering our state with clean energy,” said Environment Victoria CEO Mark Wakeham.

“The Victorian Renewable Energy Target shows that Victoria is willing to stand firm on climate leadership.”

A report by Ernst and Young released in September found that if the VRET drove construction of 5150 megawatts (MW) of new renewable energy to meet the state’s 40% renewable energy target by 2025, it would:

  • generate $2.1 billion extra economic activity
  • create 9050 construction jobs and 750 ongoing jobs
  • cut climate pollution by nearly 200 million tonnes
  • save the average household $40/year.

“We extend our congratulations to all parties who contributed to this historic moment. In particular to the Andrews government for their leadership, the Greens – who have consistently put renewable energy on the agenda – the Reason Party and Vote 1 Local Jobs for supporting the bill and Victoria’s clean energy future.”

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Mr Wakeham strongly condemned the Victorian Coalition for voting against the bill, and therefore standing for fewer jobs, higher power prices and more pollution:

“It is deeply disappointing that Matthew Guy’s Coalition is again denying Victorians lower power prices, clean energy and jobs and investment across the state.

“It is nonsensical that the Coalition chose to vote against over 9000 jobs in regional Victoria, mostly in Coalition-held seats, and more than $2 billion of investment for our state.

“Poll after poll confirms that the overwhelming majority of Victorians support the VRET and further measures to cut pollution.

“This week’s antics in Parliament suggest that the recent track record of Coalition attacks on our environment will continue through to next year’s state election. In the past 12 months, Matthew Guy’s Coalition has voted against a new Climate Change Act, voted against encouraging more rooftop solar, and now voted against large-scale renewable energy – the cheapest and cleanest form of new electricity.

“Victorians are sick and tired of Coalition energy wars. We’re ready to embrace a booming renewable energy industry that cuts prices and pollution. If the Coalition wish to remain relevant to Victorian voters then they need to get on board with Victoria’s clean energy future.”

Finally, Mr Wakeham commended the work of thousands of Victorians who helped make the VRET a reality:

“This is a moment to celebrate the efforts of grassroots organisations and volunteers who have led the way in demonstrating community support for cutting pollution through renewable energy. Well done to Friends of the Earth’s Yes2Renewables campaign who led the call for a VRET, community groups across the state and to Environment Victoria volunteers who have been building a movement for the clean energy transition in Victoria for many years.”

For interview and further comment:

Mark Wakeham, Environment Victoria CEO
Mobile: 0439 700 501

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