A green New Deal for Victoria

Two weeks ago we launched a brief document called 'a green New Deal for Victoria', which was a first attempt to articulate how our state could respond effectively to the interconnected issues of recession, accelerating climate change and growing energy costs and insecurity.

So far more than 1,000 people have visited the site, and we received many comments, ideas and questions, and also substantive feedback from about 40 people. We incorporated most of these proposals into the document and the (near) final version is now available:

Thanks to everyone who has contributed, it has been an excellent experience for us at using community-based, collaborative thinking to find solutions.

Key recommendations from this report:

* we should move to an 8 star energy rating for new homes and buildings
* we should launch a massive roll out of retrofitting of private and public houses for energy efficiency
* launch a low income retrofit program for homes
* re-structure workplace training towards ‘green collar’ jobs
* commit funds to a massive affordable or public housing program
* create a requirement for full use of passive solar and energy design in new housing
* specify the use of eco cement
* initiate a state-wide summit to launch a new vision of a compact and sustainable Melbourne
* commit to 100% renewable energy for our stationary energy production by 2020
* don’t renew the coal mining lease for the Anglesea coal mine and instead develop an energy transition plan for the Alcoa facilities
in Anglesea, Portland and Point Henry
* place a ban on new coal mining or power stations
* specify ‘Australian made’ in building materials and renewables
* work to halt the ‘brain drain’ of people and companies involved with sustainable technology leaving Australia
* drive innovation towards energy efficiency and renewables and away from biotechnology and nanotechnology by shifting current and
future research funding
* continue the investment in rail transport to complete the public transport network, especially in new suburbs and rural Victoria
* commit to the high speed rail link between Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra
* bring back tram conductors – a classic ‘green collar’ job
* ensure we build all our public transport infrastructure here in Australia
* abandon plans for the North South pipeline and the mega desalination plant, and invest the $5 billion these will cost into a range of job rich alternatives to meet our water needs
* priortise getting recycled water from the Eastern treatment plant to the Latrobe Valley for use in the Maryvale pulp mill and power stations to allow quality drinking water to be freed up for Melbourne’s domestic needs
* keep water in public hands
* introduce water intensity labelling for food produced in the state
* create new legislation to drive down waste and increase jobs – provide a mandate for extended producer responsibility – starting with Container Deposit legislation
* favour local food production, including through the creation of a rebate scheme for water tanks for people in rented housing to water food crops
* introduce a Protection of Agricultural Land Bill, which would aim to stop further encroachment on agricultural areas until a full assessment of agriculture in the light of climate change has been carried out
* abandon the current ‘pro growth’ approach to population
* make space for climate refugees
* adopt new indicators for tracking social and economic well being
* follow the example of the Canadian state of Ontario in introducing a Green Energy and Economy Act to drive green job creation.