Blog | 24th May, 2023

Big wins & some glaring gaps: What the Vic budget means for our environment

The 2023 Victorian budget delivered an end to native forest logging and builds on the Andrews government’s commitment to climate action. But there are some disappointing gaps.

Read on to see what the Victorian budget did, and didn’t deliver for our environment …

✅ Native forest logging to end on 1 January 2024

As part of this budget the Andrews government announced the long-overdue end to destructive native forest logging.

This is a massive win for the thousands of Victorians who have worked so hard for decades to protect our unique forests.

Our forests and the many threatened species that rely on them will now have a fighting chance for recovery and survival. It’s also a win for our climate, protecting these carbon-dense forests is the equivalent of taking 730,000 cars off the road each year!

Of course, this is a difficult time for the workers who make a living from native forest logging. But with a very significant additional $200 million transition package we believe it is possible to ensure nobody is left behind.

After the chainsaws, the quiet: Victoria’s rapid exit from native forest logging is welcome – and long overdue

The Conversation

The state’s iconic mountain ash forests and endangered wildlife will at last be safe from chainsaws. And there will be no shortage of wood – there’s more than enough plantation timber to fill the gap.


✅ Phasing out coal by 2035, and a revived State Electricity Commission (SEC)

This budget confirms the Andrews government’s nation-leading commitment to replacing coal with renewable energy, providing $1 billion for the new State Electricity Commission to invest in wind and solar.

AD Victoria gives SEC $1 billion to fast-track wind and solar

Renew Economy

The Victoria state government is sticking to its guns on funding for its renewable goals by allocating $1.78 billion in the 2023-24 budget.


Getting Victoria off methane gas 

This budget commits a modest $1.2 million this financial year to continue the development of the Gas Substitution Roadmap, but it lacks the kind of urgent and major investment we need to help households and businesses electrify.

As coal is phased out, it will be important that the Andrews government turns its attention to other major sources of climate pollution, including methane gas.

This is an urgent challenge for Victoria. We burn far more gas than other state, it’s responsible for 17% of the state’s climate pollution, and skyrocketing gas prices are hitting households hard. Furthermore, our supplies from Bass Strait will plunge dramatically over the remainder of the decade.

Investing in electrification must be a priority for the Andrews government in future budgets, and we are looking forward to the Gas Substitution Roadmap being updated with clear and ambitious goals for phasing out methane gas.

The Victorian government just released its plan to get off gas: what does it mean?

Environment Victoria

Thanks to thousands of people showing their support, our government has taken an important step towards reducing the state’s dependence on dirty gas.


Protecting threatened species 

In December 2021 a Parliamentary Inquiry into Victoria’s biodiversity revealed a dramatic state of decline in Victoria’s ecosystems. However there is no significant additional funding to address this in the latest budget. 

Ending destructive native forest logging is great news. But, as the most cleared state in Australia, Victoria has 400 endangered animals, plants and ecological communities and almost 2000 listed as threatened.

From the protection of Melbourne’s remaining native grasslands to restoring our rivers, there’s much more to be done, and this requires a significant boost in funding

Victorian government pressed to deliver promised funding for threatened plants and animals

The Guardian

Critically endangered grasslands on Melbourne’s outskirts should be immediately protected, parliamentary inquiry says


Other measures

$7.2 million to continue coal worker transition programs and deliver economic and community development through the Latrobe Valley Authority. But the Authority’s future remains uncertain with no funding announced beyond this financial year.

$82 million to support the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria.

✅ A new $10 million (over four years) Green Links fund, protecting Melbourne’s urban waterways and helping communities revegetate them so our wildlife can thrive and Victorians can enjoy getting out to their local creek or river, while $12.4 million will go towards opening up new opportunities for people to enjoy recreation at Tarago Reservoir.

$16 million for interest free loans in Solar Homes for batteries.

$6.3 million for installing efficient reverse cycle heating/cooling in public housing towers.