A motion calling on the Andrews Labor Government to support a Green New Deal in Victoria has passed the upper house of Parliament following a lengthy debate today.
This marks the first time in Australia that a jurisdiction has formally supported a ‘Green New Deal’, a plan which would see the government invest big in job-creating projects that help society recover from the COVID-19 recession, including projects that protect the climate and address social issues.
The Greens’ motion called on the government to use the upcoming State Budget as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to implement a Green New Deal by investing in:
- A big build of publicly-owned renewable energy and storage projects, with a transition plan for coal workers
- A big build of public housing
- Employing more educators, healthcare workers and social support workers
- Large-scale projects to regenerate bushfire-affected areas and protect threatened species
- Bike lanes and other active transport projects
- Projects to revive our main shopping strips
- Building recycling plants
Acting Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell, said it was clear Victorians wanted to see a renewables-led recovery from the COVID-19 recession that focused on supporting those hardest hit by the pandemic and building projects that also deal with transforming our energy system.
She said the Greens were pleased that their motion passed Parliament, and that in voting to support it, the government was sending a clear message that our state’s economic recovery needed to not just get Victoria back to where we were before, but build a better future.
The government has already made a number of pre-Budget announcements that reflect a Green New Deal, including investment in a big battery and the creation of jobs for health workers.
But with hundreds of thousands of Victorians out-of-work and over 100,000 on the public housing waiting list, more needs to be done and in passing the Greens’ motion, it’s clear that Parliament agrees a Green New Deal is the best path forward.
Quotes attributable to Acting Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell MP:
"Victorians don't just want Victoria to go back to the situation we had before COVID-19, where we had rising homelessness, polluting coal energy, environmental destruction and workers in caring professions with terrible pay and conditions.
"Victorians instead want our government to build a better future for Victoria, and the government has a once-in-a-generation opportunity with this Budget to fix some of the problems society faced before COVID-19 hit.
"Victorian Parliament is the first jurisdiction in Australia to formally vote for a Green New Deal, which is the Greens' plan to create jobs in Victoria by building public housing, big renewable energy projects and paying our carers, nurses and community workers fairly."