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MEDIA RELEASE: FoE Welcomes SEC Announcement

But needs to be matched with plan to shut down gas distribution

Friends of the Earth welcomes the announcement by the Victorian Premier this morning of a significant investment in boosting Victoria’s uptake of renewables and progress on reviving the SEC.

The announcement includes funding for apprenticeships feeding into secure jobs in renewables through the rebooted SEC and the commitment to create a one-stop-shop for energy users across the heaviest gas using state in Australia.

“It’s fantastic to see progress reviving the SEC which is so essential to deal with the failures of the privatised energy system” said Wendy Farmer, Friends of the Earth’s Gippsland Organiser.

“The Alan government’s plan to create 6,000 apprenticeships is exactly the kind of thing needed to make sure the public benefits from the shift to renewables” said Farmer.

For Victoria to meet our ambitious emissions reduction targets and renewable energy targets of net zero emissions by 2045, the state will need to massively rollout renewable energy and energy efficiency while electrifying households, businesses and industry. 

Friends of the Earth Melbourne calls on the State Government to match the plan for electrification with a plan to phase out the gas distribution network, and to release a plan to shut down the Victorian gas pipeline system as a matter of urgency.

This plan needs to be developed rapidly and be based in an equitable transition to ensure lower income households are not left tied to polluting, expensive gas. And it needs to be communicated widely to ensure industry has certainty in planning for a zero-gas energy economy in Victoria.

Freja Leonard, No More Gas campaign coordinator said today: “There can be no zero emissions energy plan for Victoria without grasping the nettle of what it will take to retire gas.”

“Victoria’s gas distribution network leaks around 3.7% of the fossil gas piped through the system. It’s time to retire the pipes and we need to let local governments and the community know that there is a coherent state government plan for this retirement.”, Ms Leonard said.

“We hope that the one-stop-shop concept is more user friendly than the current Victorian Government energy programs which are clunky and obtuse for people who want to do the right thing. We need a system which is fully accessible for all Victorians.”

“It’s an exciting time for Victoria’s energy transition. We applaud the Allan Government for pushing hard to meet the challenge of reducing our climate impact while meeting our energy needs. We look forward to seeing the detail of shutting down the gas distribution system and refusing floating gas terminals.”

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