Posted on 27. Mar, 2012 in News

The Baillieu Government has walked away from millions of dollars of investment and thousands of potential jobs by dumping Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions target, Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change Lisa Neville said today.

In Opposition, Ted Baillieu supported the Climate Change Act 2010, introduced by Labor, designed to increase investment in renewable energy and reduce the State’s greenhouse emissions by 20 per cent by 2020.

Mr Baillieu committed in the lead up to the election that a Baillieu Government supported the legislation and would keep it in place.

“With the stroke of a pen, Ted Baillieu has sent renewable energy investors a clear message – Victoria is closed for business,” Ms Neville said.

“This Government is sending Victoria’s energy policy back to the 1950s.

“Dumping the target will hurt investment, jobs and the environment. It betrays the trust of Victorians who care about reducing the State’s carbon footprint.

“Millions of dollars of investment in wind, solar and other alternative energy technologies and thousands of potential jobs are now under threat.

“This is a backflip by Mr Baillieu and his Environment Minister Ryan Smith.”

In the past 16 months, the Baillieu Government has scrapped the premium solar feed-in tariff scheme, and has imposed harsh planning restrictions for wind farms that will strangle the wind energy industry.

“Having had various powers and authority stripped away and given to National Party Ministers, and now the dumping of the greenhouse gas reduction target, Victorians must be wondering what is Mr Ryan’s role as Environment and Climate Change Minister?” Ms Neville said.

An Essential Media poll earlier this month found that among Coalition voters, 66 per cent said the State Government had a responsibility to cut emissions, regardless of the introduction of a Federal Government carbon price, and 78 per cent wanted more renewable energy.


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