Greens to support SEC after securing key wins to increase renewables, lower power bills

Australian Greens

The Victorian Greens confirmed today that they will support the passage of legislation to establish the State Electricity Commission (SEC) in the State’s Constitution, after negotiating key changes with the Victorian Government to ensure public ownership of the entity results in more investment in renewables and lower electricity prices.

Under the agreement, the Government agreed to support a Greens’ amendment to the Bill which will prevent current or future Victorian governments from skimming capital and profits from the SEC into general government revenue in the form of ‘dividends’.

The amendment effectively ensures that all profits from the SEC will stay with the entity and go towards lowering electricity bills for consumers, or making further investments in renewable energy.

The Government further agreed with the Greens to make a public commitment not to apply a ‘financial accommodation levy’, a Kennett-era tax on publicly owned companies, to the new SEC.

Victorian Greens coal transition spokesperson, Dr Tim Read, said the Greens changes mean the SEC will now deliver on the promise that its public ownership will be used only to drive renewable investment and lower power prices.

The Constitution Amendment (SEC) Bill 2023 is listed for debate in Victoria’s upper house when parliament resumes at the end of April. For the Bill to pass it requires a “super majority”, effectively 24 of 40 upper house votes.

As stated by Victorian Greens coal transition spokesperson, Dr Tim Read:

“When people vote for the Greens they want us to transform the cynical politics of the old parties into action on climate change.

“Our changes will mean that instead of the SEC being all about slick Labor politics and a logo on the Premier’s jacket during an election campaign, it will have a little more to spend on reducing power prices and our climate.

“The Greens are about delivering action on climate change, not just retro logos during election campaigns.”

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