Environment Victoria has described today’s budget as deeply disappointing in its failure to fund initiatives that would reduce the state’s greenhouse pollution or fast-track the shift to clean energy.
Environment Victoria CEO Mark Wakeham said today:
“This budget fails on the big environment issues of our time. There is no substantial new funding to reduce greenhouse pollution, nothing to help Victorians save energy and no clear substantial allocation to support renewable energy.
“Today the Andrews government has given the AFL more money to spend on the MCG and Etihad Stadiums than it is spending on the environment or global warming. We love the footy as much as anyone, but those priorities are wrongheaded and out of step with Victorian attitudes.
“While we are told by government officials that major programs like the Victorian Renewable Energy Target will be funded by Treasury appropriations, we have to judge the budget by what’s visible in the Budget papers, and today our environment was neglected and we failed our kids on global warming.
“With its massive spending on new roads and freeways, this budget is likely to increase the state’s greenhouse pollution and make the Andrews government’s emissions reductions targets harder to achieve. It is shocking that we are spending more than twice as much on roads as we are spending on public and active transport.
“The budget’s focus on skills and training also failed to prioritise supporting the skills we’ll need in the clean energy economy. Where are the renewable energy apprenticeships and TAFE courses or do we only care about jobs when we are building roads?
“The Sustainability Fund appears to have been significantly underspent again this year, with no decisive new approach to boosting recycling and closing the loop on waste.
“The one bright spot in the Budget for the environment was $72 million to increase funding for National Parks management and Park Rangers.
“With an election just over six months away, the Andrews government has left itself with little time to deliver for our environment in this term of government. We need to see accelerated progress on delivering the Victorian Renewable Energy target, creating the Great Forest National Park and regulating to cut greenhouse pollution and save energy well ahead of the election,” said Mr Wakeham.
Mark Wakeham, Environment Victoria CEO
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