The Victorian Gas Substitution Roadmap is a powerful moment in Victoria’s shift to a zero emissions energy future. It acknowledges the problems with fossil gas and proposes some steps the state government can take to move us from gas to renewables.
At Friends of the Earth we certainly recognise the importance of addressing the environmental, human health and economic impacts of fossil methane and commend the Victorian Government for starting a much needed conversation about transitioning off gas using efficiency standards and embracing renewables.
Frustratingly though, this opportunity falls short of the challenge of creating a pathway totally off gas for the heaviest gas using state in the country. We need a firm and time based plan from the State Government to shut down the gas mains equitably and in an orderly manner, instead of considering allowing the continued expansion of gas infrastructure. We need a State Government that shuts the door on any further gas exploration, production licences, new pipelines and import terminals.
Please join us in encouraging the Victorian Government to go all the way off gas for good. We are sending emails to the State Environment, Resources and Planning Ministers (and the Premier for good measure) calling on them to:
- Refuse all new gas connections for future developmental approvals
- Plan for the rapid and, importantly, equitable retirement of the gas distribution network starting with fully supported transition for the lowest income households
- Remove all subsidies for gas appliances under the Victorian Energy Upgrades program immediately
- Refuse any permit within your Ministerial control for any future gas exploration, production or development, including pipelines or import terminals
- Develop a Just Transition Authority to assist workers in the gas industry – whether in production, manufacturing, maintenance or installation – to reeducate and confidently shift into more sustainable employment options
- Develop a public education and behaviour change campaign around energy efficiency and electrification.