At its final meeting for the year, Lighter Footprints, the local climate change action group, attracted a bumper crowd to hear Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister for Energy, Environment, Climate Change and Suburban Development, explain the State Government’s commitment and approach to taking practical action on climate change.
Although the Minister recognised the importance of the environment, she emphasised that the issues were at least as much about smart economics and sustainable jobs. She said it was unfortunate that there was not bipartisan support on such important matters, but reminded the audience that all politicians have an important part to play, including the cross bench members in the Upper House.
The Minister said that the successful ACT model was being used to attract competitive commercial interest in large scale solar and wind. The contrast between the State Government approach and the lack of commitment and action by the Federal Government was stark. The State approach includes working closely with smart business to use technology already available to create investment certainty, and therefore more jobs. Further development of energy storage was ‘a game changer’ the Minister said. This would involve supporting a competitive market situation where the rapid transition to renewable energy would be sustainable, affordable and reliable.
Despite what Minister D’Ambrosio called ‘lies’ by the Federal Government and others about energy prices, she said that the State Government was fully committed to the targets set for 2020, 2025 and beyond, not least of all because it is only with this strong action by Victoria that the Federal Government commitments at the Paris conference can be met. This involved a mandatory commitment for government enterprises to use renewable energy, and voluntary encouragement for all communities and business to take up the medium and long-term economic advantages, something that is happening in many parts of the world.
The Minister gave an example of the importance of a bipartisan approach, where she has invited an ex Labor Minister and an ex Liberal Minister to together undertake a review of the retail electricity and gas markets, particular to monitor the effects of the recently announced closure of the highly polluting Hazelwood Brown Coal Power Station.
With more than 100 attendees at the recent Lighter Footprints meeting, there was strong support for the approach the State Government was taking, and a determination to work towards bipartisan support for what was seen as a very practical and commonsense approach that was already progressing well.
The whole session was very informative and in parts quite exciting!
There were two panelists with very good comments and questions, and then questions from the floor which had been written and collected. The Minister answered these in some detail and the remainder were taken by the Minister and her advisor and they will sort them and respond to us in due course.
Do take at least a taste of this evening which was deemed successful by all.
A very useful read: Victoria’s Renewable Energy Roadmap.
How is Victoria planning for an Energy transition away from coal?
7. 00 Arrive and meet and greet – Refreshments available.
7.30 Speaker Minister D’Ambrosio
7.50 Questions from the panel -Bruce Mountain and Lynne Holroyd
8.05 Questions from the audience
8.30 Break for refreshments
8.45 Discussion arising from Minister’s visit – follow up
9.00 Letters for the month
9.10 Report of visit to Premiers Office, and follow-up work
9.20 Report from Policy Action Group
9.30 Proposed Social event for Xmas Dec 7
9.33 Strategic Planning Day – Sun Feb 5, 2017
9.35 Any other business including events
9.40 Close and clean up