Posted on 29. Jul, 2010 in Greening Victoria

A 20 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 will be enshrined in law by a bill introduced to Parliament by the Premier John Brumby today.

Introducing the Climate Change Bill 2010 to Parliament, Mr Brumby said the Government was determined to ensure Victoria led the nation on climate change action.

“This Bill is not only landmark legislation for the state of Victoria, it is landmark legislation for Australia,” Mr Brumby said.

“Achieving the 20 per cent target will require a transformation in the way we generate and use electricity and the actions outlines in the Victorian Climate Change White Paper will drive that change.”

The Victorian Climate Change White Paper Action Plan established the Government’s actions to achieve a 20 per cent reduction in emissions by 2020, including:

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emission from brown coal-fired power generators;
  • Making Victoria the solar state.
  • Supporting cleaner and more efficient homes;
  • Delivering innovative transport solutions;
  • Creating new opportunities in agriculture and forestry;
  • Greener government programs; and


Mr Brumby said the Climate Change Bill 2010 sets a new requirement for Victoria’s emissions and climate science to be reported on every two years.  

“To set us on a path to a low emissions future, the Bill gives the EPA explicit powers to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

“These powers will ensure that no new power stations using conventional brown coal technology are built in Victoria.”

The Bill includes amendments to the Environment Protection Act which will also enable greenhouse gas emissions to be considered in licensing and works approvals for industrial and commercial sites.

“As part of a package of measures in The Victorian Climate Change White Paper Action Plan –  including a new Clean Business Fund to help Victorian businesses improve their efficiency and avoid locking in inefficient technologies – these powers will help put Victorian businesses ahead of the game as we move toward a low carbon economy,” Mr Brumby said.

“And while the Government has already commenced preliminary discussions with International Power and other stakeholders in Hazelwood about our commitment to a staged closure of Hazelwood, the Bill provides the reserve power to regulate emissions from existing brown coal-fired generators if a negotiated phase down cannot be achieved.”

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Gavin Jennings said the Climate Change Bill would help drive Victoria towards a clean, sustainable and prosperous future.

“This Bill provides the necessary legal framework for farmers and landholders to generate income while reducing emissions,” Mr Jennings said.

“The new comprehensive rights framework established in the Bill will make it easier and simpler for private landholders to have the carbon sequestered on their land recognised and used as a potential source of income.

“The Bill provides the legislative backing for the Government’s landmark Climate Change White Paper Action Plan,” Mr Jennings said.

This includes:

  • Establishing voluntary Climate Covenants between the Victorian Government and communities, industries and regional bodies who want to lead the way on climate change action;
  • Embedding climate change into a range of Government decisions;
  • Enabling the Climate Communities Program to further promote local action to tackle climate change; and
  • Requiring a Climate Change Adaptation Plan to be developed every four year to preparing for the climate change impacts we cannot avoid.


Mr Brumby said the Government was rising to the challenge of climate change, supporting new initiatives to cut emissions and creating a climate of new economic opportunity. 

“Our Government’s disciplined economic management means Victoria is in a position to lead the country in tackling climate change and lock in our sustainability for the future,” Mr Brumby said.

“We have a track record of leading the nation on climate change, including our $175 million Jobs for the Future Economy Action Plan, our $105 million Land and Biodiversity in a Time of Climate Change White Paper, the $23 million Climate Communities initiative and the $19 million earmarked for climate change action in the Blueprint for Regional and Rural Victoria, and the Victorian Climate Change White Paper and the Climate Change Bill 2010 will help us build on that.”

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