In a bold move, Member for Morwell Russell Northe has this morning moved a Reasoned Amendment in State Parliament calling upon the State Government to delay debating their Renewable Energy (Jobs and Investment) Amendment Bill 2019 (VRET) until such time that extensive modelling has been undertaken to understand the possible impacts of the Bill.
“The VRET seeks to mandate the Governments increased renewable energy target for Victoria of 50 per cent of its energy mix by 2030”, Mr Northe explains. “But quite ridiculously, this Bill has been proposed in Parliament with absolutely no modelling undertaken to see what this target will do to the current electricity generation sector, or the communities that have a reliance on these same industries”.
“That’s why today I have rejected this Bill by way of a Reasoned Amendment, effectively calling for a halt to the Bill until adequate research and modelling has been completed”.
“This is not an issue about renewables versus coal, it’s an issue about common sense and understanding what such a target means for industries, workers and communities”, Mr Northe said.
“We know more and more renewables are coming on line and this is a positive step, but it needs to be done in a considered manner and with all the facts in place”.
Victoria is already in a precarious situation given AEMO have recently publically commented that security of supply will be under threat once again this summer, particularly for our State that has become a net importer of electricity.
“The lessons from Hazelwood Power Stations closure needs to be heeded”, Mr Northe continued. and that is hundreds of locals lost their jobs, prices went through the roof, security of supply was threatened, businesses were compensated tens of millions of dollars to close at peak times and even diesel generators were installed as back up”.
“We cannot have this replicated into the future and certainly not without replacement generation already being in place”.
“I just can’t fathom that any responsible Government can set such a target without having the facts in front of it, and not knowing what the impacts are likely to be in certain communities and for the people who live and work in those communities”, Mr Northe lamented.
“That’s why I’m calling upon the Andrews Government to stop and think about how this legislation could affect the Latrobe Valley community, prior to making damaging decisions such as this”.
Mr Northe’s Hansard excerpt can be found here. Mr Northe is the second speaker on the Renewable Energy (Jobs and Investment) Amendment Bill.