The Climate Council has welcomed the Victorian Government’s state budget, which places clean recovery front and centre.
The Victorian Government will provide $540 million to establish six Renewable Energy Zones throughout the state, which will ensure that renewables can be coordinated with transmission and demand.
“This is a great announcement. More renewable energy means more jobs – and right now that’s exactly what Victoria needs. Renewable Energy Zones ensure our energy system is reliable, secure and developed at the lowest possible cost,” said the Climate Council’s CEO Amanda McKenzie.
“The Climate Council’s Clean Jobs Plan found that supporting large-scale wind and solar could create up to 4,000 jobs in Victoria, rapidly getting people back into the workforce while also tackling climate change,” she said.
The budget also includes $797 million for energy efficiency upgrades, including $335 million for the replacement of inefficient gas heaters with electric alternatives. Money is also earmarked for social housing upgrades and to improve the efficiency of government buildings.
“Turbo-charging energy efficiency upgrades is good policy that creates jobs, reduces energy bills and tackles long term problems like climate change.”
The budget also allocates $92 million for land restoration and $48 million towards community environmental programs.
“Regional Victoria was hit hard by the Black Summer bushfires. Ecosystem restoration can create thousands of jobs in the regions and help the land recover,” said Ms McKenzie.
The budget also provides funding for a zero emissions bus trial and a business case will be developed for the possible procurement of zero emission vehicles for the government car fleet.
“The Victorian Government’s zero emissions bus trial is welcome, however more funding and policy support is needed to support the uptake of electric vehicles in the state,” she said.