FED up with the lack of action from the Abbott government on renewable energy targets, a frustrated Victoria government has pleaded to be allowed to go it alone. And that’s great news for south-west Victoria.
Victoria wants the federal government to give it the go ahead to establish its own system which would allow it to stimulate investment and interest in renewables.
If it happened, projects earmarked for the Warrnambool and Port Fairy areas as well as some in Ballarat and Ararat would finally get off the ground instead of languishing in a pit of uncertainty.
Victoria is unhappy with the federal government’s decision attempt to slash the renewable energy target, which requires that 41,000 gigawatt hours of Australia’s energy comes from renewable sources by 2020, for standing in the way of jobs and investment.
And with this region set to gain the most from a change of heart on renewables, the Victorian push is welcome and timely.
Victoria’s energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio said her government wanted a 2020 renewables target of at least 20 per cent which would generate business confidence and kickstart billions of dollars in investment.
For example if the target was 20 per cent it would create about 1400 construction jobs, many of them on our own doorstep.
Australia is lagging badly as other countries see the sense, both for economic and environmental reasons, in creating the right conditions for renewable energy to thrive.
Lack of action and stalling tactics over the RET has resulted in investment in renewables in Australia slumping by 90 per cent.
More than 2300 jobs in the renewable energy sector have been lost in the past two years, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show.
Victoria, led by the south-west of the state, should be a leader of clean energy in Australia.
Instead, we are nowhere to be seen.
What’s the problem? Surely it is time for Australia to breathe life into this new industry.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.