Greens turn up heat on Napthine government and Labor opposition over renewable energy and fracking

Greens South West Coast candidate Thomas Campbell (left) and lead upper house candidate for Western Victoria Lloyd Davies at last night’s campaign launch.140827AS10 Picture: AARON SAWALL

Greens South West Coast candidate Thomas Campbell (left) and lead upper house candidate for Western Victoria Lloyd Davies at last night’s campaign launch.140827AS10 Picture: AARON SAWALL

THE Greens will spend the next three months pressuring the Napthine government and Labor over renewable energy and fracking. 

South West Coast candidate Thomas Campbell last night used his campaign launch speech to warn of the dangers of unconventional gas and billions of dollars of investment at risk if wind farms were scrapped in the district. 

The 22-year-old university student is challenging Premier Denis Napthine and  Labor’s Roy Reekie for the safe Liberal seat. 

While Dr Napthine faces a struggle to remain in government, he holds his home electorate by a safe 12 per cent margin. 

Speaking in Warrnambool last night, Mr Campbell said renewable energy jobs were at risk in the electorate if the federal renewable energy target (RET), which is under review, was scrapped. 

The Greens are pushing for Parliament to revive the Victorian RET, which was rolled into the federal target in 2009. 

“Our policy is to see Victoria running on 90 per cent renewable energy by 2030 and to be carbon neutral by 2050. This policy provides the certainty that this industry needs to flourish,” Mr Campbell said.

“There’s billions of dollars waiting in wind farms that have been approved but not built, waiting for the outcome of the RET review.”

A Portland forum on Sunday heard up to 170 jobs would be lost if the RET was shelved. 

On fracking, Mr Campbell said neither party had a committed policy until after the election. 

“Unconventional gas is a disaster just waiting to happen. It destroys the landscape while they build all-weather roads on the land to service the gas wells.” 

He said he also supported the push by the region’s mayors to increase V/Line train services to five a day and increasing V/Line coach services across the state by 50 per cent. 

The Greens are also supporting paramedics in their two-year industrial dispute. 

On youth unemployment, Mr Campbell said the Greens wanted to reverse cuts to the TAFE system. 

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