Media Releases | 30th Apr, 2018

Time for State Budget to get serious about backing renewable energy and cutting power bills

Environment Victoria has said today that Tuesday’s State Budget – the fourth budget of the Andrews government – needs to get serious about backing renewable energy projects to ensure the state meets its renewable energy targets and cuts power bills.

Environment Victoria CEO Mark Wakeham said ahead of the Budget:

“The Andrews government has delivered three modest budgets for the environment and cleaning up our power supply. In this, their last budget in this term of government, the Treasurer needs to open his wallet and make significant investments to meet Victoria’s renewable energy targets.

“Every solar panel, wind turbine or insulation batt that is installed creates jobs, lowers power bills and cuts greenhouse pollution. With Victorians facing cost of living pressures, it’s time to double down on renewable energy.

“We know this budget will include one-off cash handouts to encourage households to check their power contracts, but what we really need is major investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency that will deliver ongoing bill savings for households and less pollution.

“The Andrews government’s first renewable energy auction is already underway and has been inundated with enough proposals to build 3500 MW of new clean energy projects. Instead of capping the auction at 650 MW of projects, the government should be ambitious and accept 1500 MW.

“Doubling the first round of auctions will mean more projects are built and energy prices will fall faster and further for Victorian families and businesses.”

Environment Victoria CEO Mark Wakeham will be in the Budget lock-up on Tuesday and available for comment after the Budget speech.

Other issues that Environment Victoria will be watching closely in the budget will include:

  • Whether the Budget scales up energy saving programs which have only been funded at modest levels in past budgets, despite their effectiveness in cutting energy bills;
  • Whether the Budget proposes large-scale solutions to the state’s recycling crisis, with a focus on reducing the waste we generate;
  • Whether environment levies are actually spent on environment programs, including analysis of how the accumulated $500 million in the Sustainability Fund is spent down or if it is just being misused to prop up the budget bottom line;
  • How the budget delivers on key priorities for Victoria’s environment including reducing greenhouse pollution, restoring our rivers to health and protecting our forests;
  • Whether likely investment in transport projects will increase or decrease car reliance and greenhouse pollution, and whether they promote sustainable transport;
  • Whether the budget supports any more dirty energy projects in addition to the ridiculous and wasteful $50 million grant recently announced for a dirty coal to hydrogen proposal in the Latrobe Valley.

Environment Victoria’s budget submission to the Andrews government can be read here.

For interview and further comment:

Mark Wakeham, Environment Victoria CEO
Mobile: 0439 700 501

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