Andrews govt commitment to Vic Renewable Energy Target welcome: Time for Abbott govt to remove roadblocks

884wind-turbine11.jpgFriends of the Earth welcomes the Andrew government's commitment to reinstating a Victorian Renewable Energy Target. 

The organisation, representing thousands of Victorians, join the call for Prime Minister Abbott to remove roadblocks to state leadership on renewable energy.

"The Abbott government is playing politics over the fate of the Renewable Energy Target (RET). Its actions have seen investment collapse by 90 per cent and 2,500 job losses,” says Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy spokesperson.

"The Andrews government's commitment to reinstate a Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) must be welcomed by anyone who supports job creation, investment in Australia, and action on climate change."

The Andrews government has called for the national Renewable Energy Target legislation to be amended to reflect its original intent and allow for state government leadership.

"The Abbott government must amend the RET legislation to give the states the full suite of tools needed to grow the renewable energy sector and create jobs," said Ewbank.

Friends of the Earth say there are creative ways the Andrews government can set a Victorian Renewable Energy Target, but removal of section 7c of the RET legislation is still needed. 

"Section 7c hasn't prevented the ACT or South Australia from finding creative ways to deliver their own Renewable Energy Targets." 

"Removal of the section 7c barrier will give the states the all the tools they need to grow the renewable energy sector and create jobs."

"The Abbott government can't justify standing in the way of renewable energy any longer."

Friends of the Earth have long championed the need for a Victorian Renewable Energy Target and welcome the leadership from the Andrews government. 

"The ACT has a target of 90 per cent renewables by 2020. South Australia is aiming for 50 per cent by 2025. And now Victoria will follow suit by adopting its own target."

"A Victorian Renewable Energy Target can gain cross party support in the state."

The Greens already support restoring a VRET. And opposition leader Matthew Guy is modernising the Liberal party’s energy platform and has established, for the first time, a shadow minister for renewable energy.

The Labor government first introduced Victoria’s previous state Renewable Energy Target in the mid-2000s. The scheme unleashed billions of dollars of investment in Victoria and made Victoria a national leader on renewable energy.

A renewed VRET will build on the Andrews government's first steps on wind energy.

 “Victoria used to be a national leader in renewable energy. This position was lost under the state and federal Coalition governments.”

The Andrews government has already breathed new life into the wind energy sector through removing the worst parts of the Baillieu government's anti-wind laws.”

“The commitment on a VRET and a renewable energy action plan builds on that leadership.”

Further comment

Leigh Ewbank 0406 316 176