Today’s state budget maintains the Andrews government’s leadership on clean energy after record commitments announced in November, Environment Victoria said today.
“Last November’s COVID-recovery budget included historic amounts of investment in clean energy and energy efficiency, and now the focus is on rolling out these transformative projects,” said Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager Dr Nicholas Aberle.
“It’s a stark contrast with the federal government wasting $600 million on a polluting gas power station that nobody except Angus Taylor wants.
“Some of the positive measures in today’s budget had already been announced, including elements of the Climate Change Strategy, rebates for electric vehicles and bushfire recovery and preparation.
“We are pleased to see $8 million a year to continue additional ranger roles at Parks Victoria and more park maintenance.
“There is $52 million to continue Landcare and community efforts to protect habitat and improve biodiversity, plus $24.5 million to improve the health of rivers and wetlands. Victoria is incredibly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and we will need greater efforts to ensure our natural ecosystems remain healthy.
“We are a little disappointed the budget didn’t extend funding for the Latrobe Valley Authority, which has just 12 months of funding left.
“The government has indicated a strong commitment to the Latrobe Valley Authority but we’d like to see that reflected in the budget papers. We expect the funding will be extended in the May 2022 budget, but an earlier commitment would have given greater certainty to coal workers and the community.
“Given the pace of the energy transition and the announcement that the Yallourn power station will close in 2028, the Latrobe Valley Authority’s work has a long way to run.
“One piece of good news for the economic diversification of the Latrobe Valley is a $10 million commitment to enhancing a new Food Manufacturing Precinct in Morwell. This will help stimulate jobs in new, sustainable industries across Gippsland.
“We look forward to seeing major commitments for our climate and environment in the pre-election budget next year,” said Dr Aberle.
Greg Foyster, Media and Content Manager
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