Farmers, community and environmental groups from across the Victoria gathered on the steps of Parliament on the first sitting day of 2016 (Tuesday 9 February) to greet the MPs as they prepare to make crucial decisions about the state’s energy future.
The Andrews government are set to make imminent decisions on whether or not to ban controversial onshore and unconventional gas mining, and the extent to which they will encourage renewable energy investment in the state via a Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET).
“The Andrews Government are about to make very important decisions about Victoria’s energy future, and its economic future,” said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth renewables spokesperson.
“An onshore gas mining industry could jeopardies existing industries such as agriculture and tourism, threatening the diversity of rural economies, while a strong VRET could secure thousands of clean and green jobs for Victorians.”
Gerard Deery, sheep farmer from East Gippsland will drove four hours to speak to the crowd gathered on the steps of Parliament:
“Farming communities like mine have spoken, gasfields are not welcome here. It’s time for Premier Andrews to step up and put in place a total ban,” said Mr Deery.
“Over 70 communities in Victoria have declared themselves gasfield free. Farming communities like mine have spoken, gasfields are not welcome here. It’s time for Premier Andrews to step up and put in place a total ban.”
Luke Hilakari, Secretary of the Victorian Trades Hall Council, also addressed the rally.
“An ambitious Victorian Renewable Energy Target will create good jobs right here in Victoria,” said Hilakari.
“Over 2,500 people lost their jobs thanks to Liberal party attacks on the renewable energy sector.”
“The Andrews government has the opportunity to put the wind back in the sails by setting an ambitious Victorian Renewable Energy Target. It’s the right thing for the environment and the right thing for Victorian workers,” said Mr Hilakari.
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Ban Onshore Gas + Grow Renewables Rally: