Friends of the Earth has welcomed the Andrews government's twin announcements of the Grampians New Energy Taskforce and funding for the Asia-Pacific Renewable Energy Centre at Federation Uni in Ballarat, yet the group has called for a planned approach for investment in climate change solutions from the state government.
"By making investments like these the Andrews government is acknowledging the importance of acting on climate change," said Act on Climate Vic coordinator Leigh Ewbank.
"To make sure Victorians are getting the most bang for buck the Andrews government can take the next step and establish a Victorian Climate Change Action Fund to address this critical issue."
"A designated grant scheme can ensure that the needs of communities, small businesses and local government are being met by the state when it comes to acting on climate change," added Ewbank.
The announcements are positive signs of the long pipeline of work in wind and solar getting underway thanks to the Victorian Renewable Energy Target, with the results of the state's first round of renewable energy auctions expected in a matter of weeks.
The Andrews government announced $500,000 to establish the Grampians New Energy Taskforce and $50,000 for Federation University to produce a business case for the Asia Pacific Renewable Energy Centre, a proposed training facility for workers in the sector.
"There's a strong need for funding to train skilled, local workers to construct, install and maintain renewable energy projects with a steady pipeline of projects getting underway thanks to the Victoria's Renewable Energy Target, so this is a welcome step," said Pat Simons, Yes 2 Renewables Coordinator.
"Will opposition leader Matthew Guy welcome the good news?" asked Simons.
Answering calls on ABC Radio Melbourne last week Matthew Guy reiterated the Coalition would axe the Victorian Renewable Energy Target if elected in November.
"As it stands the Guy opposition don't have a plan to grow renewable energy in Victoria, create new jobs and deliver the most affordable new generation, wind and solar."
"It's time for the Guy opposition to overturn their bizarre pledge to axe the Victorian Renewable Energy Target, which only puts jobs and investment at risk," said Simons.
"This is their chance to do the right thing, but time is running out ahead of November's state election."
- Email Premier Daniel Andrews today to call for him to establish a Victorian Climate Change Action Fund.
- Get involved with the Act on Climate collective by becoming an active member. Meetings are held at Friends of the Earth in Collingwood at 6pm, Monday evenings.
- Support grassroots community action on climate change by making a donation.