Environment group Friends of the Earth Melbourne today welcomed a raft of measures announced by the Victorian Government today to reduce the state’s dependency on fossil methane gas. This announcement is a critical step towards the top demand reduction recommendation contained in the No More Gas campaign’s Community Gas Retirement Roadmap (p25) that any further residential or commercial gas connections be prohibited across the state.
Victorian Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio announced today that from 1 January Victoria would:
- Require that all new planning permits refuse gas in favour of all electric buildings
- Ensure that any future State Government buildings are gas free
- Offer a $10 million package of grants for residential fuel switching, and
- Create a $1 million reskilling package to assist workers in the transition to a post gas energy economy for Victoria
“This is a spectacular win not only for the climate but for the health of Victorians and for managing energy costs into the future.”, said No More Gas campaigner Freja Leonard. “It’s a giant leap forward towards Victoria meeting our emissions reduction targets and a radical jump in the gas death spiral for the heaviest domestic gas using state in Australia.”
“It’s a clear statement that we don’t need gas to cook, heat our water or our buildings. The Victorian Government is leading the way not only for the rest of the country, but showing our export partners that any investment in gas is tying themselves to a sinking ship.”, said Ms Leonard.
“It’s critical that this be a just transition and that nobody is left behind.”, Ms Leonard said. “We need to rapidly and equitably retire the gas pipeline system to ensure that lower income households still stuck with polluting gas can switch off gas and embrace clean, affordable renewable electricity. This must be supported by thermal upgrades to ensure that homes are efficient and comfortable, and to reduce our energy demand to the bare minimum.”, she said.
Friends of the Earth Melbourne recently launched the Get Off Gas pledge, inviting householders, including renters, owners and public and social housing residents who want to get off gas and need support to make the switch to take the pledge and ask their local MP and the Victorian Energy Minister to give them the help they need. “One third of Victoria’s residents are renters, often living in the least efficient, most energy intensive homes. We hope that they are the next in line for State Government attention in switching off gas and enjoying the clean energy revolution.”, said Ms Leonard.
For comment please contact Freja Leonard [email protected] 0400 611 896