CREATING JOBS TO HELP BRING VICTORIA A GREENER FUTURE

Posted on 30. Apr, 2010 in Victoria

Victoria is on the path to a sustainable and prosperous future under the Victorian Government’s $175 million Jobs for the Future Economy Action Plan which will help secure thousands of green jobs.

Premier John Brumby and Environment and Climate Change Minister Gavin Jennings today released the 18-point Plan which outlines Victoria’s next steps to develop industries for the future, secure jobs and foster new skills. 

Mr Brumby said climate change created challenges but it also created great opportunities. 

Jobs for the Future Economy shows how our government is taking action to ensure Victoria’s economic, environmental and social development for the long term,” Mr Brumby said.

“We are investing in green industries and using our State’s strengths in innovation to develop new technologies and jobs that will not only benefit the environment but will also see our economy continue to grow.

Jobs for the Future Economy will also help stimulate significant private sector investment in new industries which in turn will create more jobs for Victorian families.” 

Mr Brumby said Jobs for the Future Economy focussed on five key areas:

  • Securing more jobs in construction by promoting high standards in design and construction in commercial buildings and new homes;
  • Securing more green jobs in energy by supporting the development and uptake of renewable energy that will reduce carbon emissions and secure green jobs;
  • Driving low emissions industry growth by removing barriers to investment, fostering new markets and cutting “green” tape through smarter regulation;
  • Developing sustainability skills by supporting training in sustainable skills for tradespeople; and
  • Promoting innovation through new research and industry science projects and investment in electric vehicle trials.

Mr Jennings said the single largest investment in the strategy was the $60 million Greener Government Buildings component which would improve the energy and water efficiency of the State’s hospitals, schools and government buildings. 

“This program will see initiatives such as energy efficient lighting, heating and air-conditioning pay for the cost of the investment in savings over an eight year period,” Mr Jennings said. 

“The program will achieve cost savings of more than $7 million per year through reduced energy and water consumption and save 130,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year.

“By making the majority of government buildings across Victoria more energy efficient, the state will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save money on energy bills, and create jobs.

“The Greener Government Buildings program was developed with assistance from the Clinton Climate Initiative and I thank President Clinton’s foundation for their support with this strategy.”

Clinton Climate Initiative chairman Ira Magaziner welcomed the Victorian Government’s commitment to a more sustainable future through the Greener Government Buildings program. 

“The Victorian Government has made an important environmental commitment today, especially in the launch of its innovative Greener Government Buildings program,” Mr Magaziner said.

“This action plan now sets out how we will take advantage of the new areas of opportunity that will be created as we reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change.”

Mr Brumby said Victoria had led the way in responding to climate change.

”The Jobs for the Future Economy Action Plan builds on our Government’s recent commitment to increase landfill levies in Victoria, supported by investment of $57.9 million. Together this will help support up to 700 jobs and increase recycling,” Mr Brumby said.

“The plan also builds on Victoria’s record of success in science and innovation to tackle climate change and help create new jobs.

“The plan is great news for regional and rural Victoria because many of the new jobs that will be created, will be created in our regions.”

Key initiatives within the Jobs for the Future Economy include:

  • Solar energy hubs – $5 million will be provided to assist with the creation of up to 10 solar energy hubs across the state. Grants of between $250,000 and to $1 million will be available for communities who want to switch to solar, creating opportunities for more than 500 accredited Solar PV installers;
  • Research – $12 million will be provided to support seven new research and industry partnership projects to develop new renewable energy, water, construction and manufacturing technologies. This will help make Victoria a productive and sustainable state and will leverage total investment of more than $40 million and support 56 high skill green jobs;
  • Green industries – a $7.4 million funding boost for green industries in regional Victoria which includes $3.4 million in matched funding through the Green Regional Industry Investment Program to attract new green industries to regional areas and $4 million to expand the successful Regional Industry Water and Energy Efficiency to reduce the carbon footprint of regional industries.
  • Green Plumbing – $10 million for new water efficiency measures for households and industry which will deliver opportunities for thousands of registered plumbers. These actions will deliver 5,000 additional rebates for rain water tanks, 12,000 additional rebates for duel flush toilets, and bring the total low-flow shower heads exchanged to 500,000.

Minister for Skills and Workforce Participation and Member for Melbourne Bronwyn Pike said many of the areas of opportunity and innovation created by climate change would rely on the skills and ingenuity of the workforce.

“Ensuring people have the right skills is central to Victoria developing renewable energy technology, building a newer, cleaner production plant or retrofitting a home,” Ms Pike said.

“That’s’ why we are also investing $5 million to support the development and expansion of green training courses and assist young people into green training or jobs.”

Jobs for the Future Economy Action Plan can be found at: www.business.vic.gov.au/greenjobs

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