Australian Labor Party

Climate leadership?

  • View climate change as “one of the most critical issues” and say that the state government “must play a leadership role” in both mitigation and adaptation. However, see environmental concerns as needing to be balanced against financial and social considerations – including the interests of the mining industry.

  • Would “reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the longer term in line with the science.”

  • Would “restore, update and strengthen the Climate Change Act” and “revise greenhouse emission reduction targets”.

  • Are not actively campaigning on climate at this election.

  • At a federal level, continue to support a 5% emissions reduction by 2020 target, but only reluctantly agreed to an 80% reduction by 2050 and have done little to defend this target in the face of Liberal Party legislation repeal.

Support for renewable energy?

  • Would reduce the wind farm exclusion zone around dwellings from two kilometers to one kilometer and allow the proposed community wind farm to proceed at Macedon
  • Would assist Newstead, to become Victoria’s first ‘Solar Town’ by providing a $200,000 grant to fund a master plan for transitioning to 100% renewable energy by 2017

  • Would provide $100,000 to the community at Woodend to build a solar farm at the Black Forest Timber Mill.  

  • Would ensure small renewable energy projects can have fair access to the existing grid and distribution businesses are more responsive to distributed energy proposals.

  • Would ask the Essential Services Commission to inquire into the true value to the grid of distributed generation.

  • Would ensure that energy retailers cannot discriminate against rooftop solar customers by charging extra supply fees.

  • Are “committed to increasing Victoria’s share of renewable energy however, the outcome of the [Federal] RET review will impact on the pace at which that transformation can take place.”

  • Would “create Industry Development Plans to support the growth of bio-energy, marine energy, geothermal energy and energy storage technologies”.

  • Would create a $20 million New Energy Jobs Fund offering grants of up to $1 million to firms and companies specialising in high-growth renewable sectors focused on the development of technology associated with the generation and storage of clean energy. Examples would include new blade technology and advanced solar energy capture and storage.
  • Would “compensate households and businesses that provide excess clean energy to the grid”.

  • Have opposed reduction of the federal RET.

  • Have not ruled out supporting a Victorian Renewable Energy Target or other more specific measures to support renewable energy.

Coal and gas expansion?

  • “The interests of the mining industry, the agricultural sector and the environment in the regulation of mineral exploration and mining and extractive industry operations must be equitably balanced.” Will not rule out the granting of new brown coal leases - would wait to see the details.

  • Would “introduce a comprehensive strategic land use framework that protects land which sustains sensitive rural and environmental land uses” and “require production of an environmental impact statement, based on clear legislative criteria, as a prerequisite for obtaining a licence for extraction, mining or major exploration”.

  • Would “maintain the ability for the Minister to exempt certain areas from exploration and/or mining licences” and “maintain a ban on hydraulic fracturing during and prior to establishing a Parliamentary Inquiry into this and other mining processes and issues relating to unconventional gas exploration and mining”

Phase out coal and gas power?

  • No plans to phase out coal-fired power stations. Shelved plan to close one quarter of Hazelwood.

  • No policy on gas power stations. Some Labor MPs refer to gas as a ‘transition fuel’.

Support energy efficiency?

  • Opposed abolition of the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target.

  • Would consider a target, and would support programs to: improve energy efficiency of existing homes; actively promote information on energy rating of homes that are sold or leased; improve energy efficiency of public and social housing; investigate incentives to assist tenants and landlords to improve energy efficiency install solar PV systems; expand zero interest loans schemes to cover energy efficiency products; assess the viability of lifting the minimum energy efficiency standard for new homes and major renovations; and improve Victoria’s proportion of insulated homes.

Would scrap the East West Link and reallocate the funding to public transport?

  • Were the original proponents of the East West Link. Then moved to opposing it, but with a promise to honour the contract if it was signed before the election.

  • Current position is reported to be: “Labor said it had legal advice that any contract for the multi-billion-dollar tunnel and toll road would not be enforceable if a December court challenge by the Yarra and Moreland councils was successful … In a later press conference, Mr Andrews refused to say what Labor would do if the councils' court appeal was unsuccessful.”

  • From Daniel Andrew's web site: “Victorian Labor has obtained legal advice and the message is clear: any contract signed before an election, for a project that’s facing Supreme Court challenge, cannot be entered into safely. A Labor Government will honour legally-binding contracts, but it won’t be held responsible for an unenforceable document that was recklessly devised in haste and in error. Labor does not believe that any contracts for the East West Link Project could be validly entered into while the matter before the Supreme Court remains unresolved, and there can be no certainty that any contracts for the East West Link Project are legally binding. If no legally binding contracts exist, an Andrews Labor Government will not proceed with the East West Link Project.” 

  • There are differing views as to whether the ALP's opposition to the East-West Link is unequivocal. The Public Transport Users Association scored the ALP's transport policy as B "for solid policies around level crossing removal, a trial of 24-hour services on weekends, and its declared position that the East West Link will not go ahead under any circumstances. Grade separations will improve travel for motorists, public transport users, cyclists and pedestrians alike. ... But they will need to make sure East West Link is scrapped”.

Would establish a Great Forests National Park? 

  • Are reported to have abandoned plans for a Great Forests National Park. 
  • The ALP platform aims to protect all rare, old growth forests and at least 90 percent of high quality wilderness.