Greens announce top climate priorities including coal workers job guarantee on the eve of early voting


On the eve of polls opening to early voters, the Greens have unveiled their priorities for a safe climate future for Victorians. The Greens’ plan stands in clear contrast to the Victorian Labor party, who have no clear plans to support coal workers as the energy sector decarbonises.

  1. A legislated end to Victorian coal-fired plants by 2030. A job-for-job guarantee for coal workers, paid for by doubling royalties on coal and gas corporations.

The job-for-job guarantee would ensure coal workers get the just transition they deserve. The guarantee would ensure that coal workers get paid at the same rate to take up jobs outside the sector, through a subsidy to employers.

Workers unable to find a job that attracts the guarantee would receive an equivalent amount as income for 10 years, and workers aged at least 55 years who choose to retire would receive an equivalent amount as income until they reach pension age.

The Greens’ plan to phase out all coal-fired power plants by 2030 while supporting workers will be paid for by doubling the royalties on coal and gas mining, which is estimated by the PBO to net $214 million over the forward estimates.

With this revenue, the state would be able to afford the job-for-job guarantee for coal workers and deliver a budget position still $42.8 million in the black over the forward estimates period.

  1. Increase Victoria’s legislated Renewable Energy Target to 100% by 2030, supported by $10 billion in new renewable energy generation, storage, and grid upgrades.

This fund would support:

  • Large offshore wind developments capable of replacing entire coal plants
  • Solar and wind farms across the state, including community and First Nations led projects where benefits are returned to local communities
  • Expanding solar for homes, businesses and public buildings
  • New big-battery and pumped hydro storage projects, including publicly-owned storage, to ensure Victorians control our own energy security and aren’t at the mercy of big corporations
  • Retrofitting large energy users in our grid (like the Portland aluminium smelter) so they can increase and decrease their power usage and help stabilise energy demand across our grid
  • Household batteries, microgrids and neighbourhood batteries to store more locally-generated energy close to where it is made and used
  • Upgrading and expanding our transmission and distribution networks to create a stable energy system fit for the 21st century
  1. Reviving clean manufacturing in Victoria

The plan also includes a bold proposal to revive Victorian manufacturing, powered by 100% renewable energy. This plan would secure Victoria’s position in the booming global renewables manufacturing sector by supporting local industries for heat pumps, solar panels and wind turbine components to be made in Victoria. It would address global supply chain challenges, creating jobs and accelerating the state’s rapid clean energy transition.

Initial actions to revive Victorian manufacturing include:

  • A $902 million commitment to buy the Portland aluminium smelter, to produce aluminium with renewable energy, act as a “reverse battery” and keep jobs in Portland
  • $12.5 million to build three publicly owned solar panel recycling and manufacturing plants at strategic locations across Victoria
  • Local production of electric buses to accelerate the roll out of high frequency electric bus routes across Melbourne and regional cities
  • A $190 million grant scheme for businesses to upgrade their energy systems and go gas-free
  • Establishing an independent and fully-funded Latrobe Valley Authority to spearhead further clean manufacturing opportunities for Victoria, for example in offshore wind and electrification.

Previously announced Greens climate commitments:

  • Up to $6000 in grants and zero-interest loans for each of 1 million households to replace polluting gas stoves, heaters and hot water with efficient electric appliances
  • $15,000 grants for people to switch to electric vehicles and big investments in public and active transport
  • A legislated end to native forest logging in 2023, a move which will save Victorian taxpayers $205 million by stopping the handouts that Labor currently gives to the logging industry
  • A $1 billion per year Zero Extinction fund and the establishment of a Regenerative Agriculture Centre of Excellent to ensure Victoria’s landscapes can maximise carbon storage

Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens Deputy Leader and Climate and Energy spokesperson Ellen Sandell MP:

“The Greens are the only party this election to present a comprehensive costed plan that puts Victoria on a pathway to zero emissions by 2035, in line with what climate science demands.

“Labor doesn’t have a plan to support coal workers. The Greens are the only party putting forward a real plan to support the communities in Latrobe Valley as we embark on this important economic transition.

“Our plan would guarantee Victorians a safer climate future while supporting coal workers to move into new jobs. It would also make Victoria a manufacturing powerhouse again, by encouraging companies to manufacture here in Victoria, powered by cheap clean energy.

“To get strong climate action here in Victoria, we need more Greens in Parliament to push Labor to stop drilling for gas near the 12 Apostles, and to plan for a transition out of coal.

“With Victorian-made heat pumps, solar panels, wind turbine components and more, Victoria can create jobs, shortcut global supply chain challenges and rapidly transition our state to 100% renewable electricity and away from polluting coal and gas."

Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens Leader Samantha Ratnam:

“Coal and gas corporations have banked massive profits while fuelling the climate crisis. It’s beyond time for polluters to pay, and that’s why we’re doubling coal and gas royalties to fund Victoria’s clean energy transition.

“This election, more and more voters are turning to the Greens as the only party committed to no new coal and gas, stopping gas drilling near the 12 Apostles and ending native forest logging next year.

“Pressure from the Greens has already pushed Labor to increase its clean energy commitments and even take up our policy to bring energy back into public hands. 

“With more Greens in the next Parliament we can stop gas drilling near the 12 Apostles and put Victoria on track for a safer renewable energy future.”