The Napthine government is “missing in action” as the Victorian Labor opposition identifies renewable energy as a key growth sector for the state.
Labor’s Back to Work policy released today commits the party to “Establish a $200 million Future Industries Fund to drive the six high-growth sectors.” This fund will support the development of “new energy technologies” (Note: Credible policy will exclude fossil fuels. We’re keeping a watchful our eye on the details).
The Labor party also announced a $200 million Regional Jobs Fund that will support job-creating projects, including “Companies investing in renewable energy.”
Friends of the Earth welcome the focus on renewable energy in the lead up to the November 29 state election.
Renewable energy is a high-growth, job-creating sector globally. Victoria’s economy can benefit from the shift to renewables, but only with political leadership.
Victorians see renewable energy as a huge economic opportunity for our state, yet the Napthine government is missing in action when it comes to encouraging the sector and creating jobs. Indeed, only a few months ago Premier Napthine threw good money on bad coal with a $25 million grant to facilitate brown coal export.
The Labor opposition is building its renewable energy policy credentials. It has already committed to “rip up” the Coalition government’s anti-wind farm laws which cost the state:
- 490 construction jobs and 64 ongoing jobs for the30-year life of wind farms
- An estimated $10.5m worth of economic activity to rural economies
- Projects worth $864 million
The Back to Work policy announcement comes a week after Labor candidate for the hotly contested seat of Ripon, Daniel McGlone, supported a Victorian Renewable Energy Target. Mr McGlone told The Maryborough Advertiser:
“Daniel Andrews has made a commitment that should the RET be scrapped at a federal level Labor will revisit the VRET and re-instate it,” he said. “I’m obviously going to be deeply in favour of that.”
Credible energy policy must include a state target for renewable energy. Yes 2 Renewables and our supporters have called on Premier Napthine and opposition leader Daniel Andrews to make a Victorian Renewable Energy Target a central plank of state energy policy. The Victorian Greens have already endorsed our call for a VRET.
Victoria’s renewable energy sector is languishing due to the Abbott government’s attacks. It will take state government leadership to restore certainty.
A Victorian Renewable Energy Target will create jobs and unleash investment in Victoria – which is something all political parties can support. A growing renewable energy sector can reinvigorate manufacturing in places such as Geelong and lock in existing wind energy jobs in Portland.