Pollution Agenda in Victoria

Published at theangle.org

The Premier of Victoria just happens to be one of the worst apologists for big polluters. And it’s no wonder when the state of Victoria is seemingly beholden to the interests of big polluters.

John Brumby has shown little remorse for the kind of planet he and his government are leaving behind to future generations. Since the departure of Steve Bracks, Brumby has been hell-bent on stepping up the efforts to strip the state of any and all natural resources. In the past few weeks Brumby has come out well and truly behind the heavy polluting industries. Unsurprisingly he has been particularly backing the brown coal out of the Latrobe Valley; continuing his rhetoric about geosequestration (carbon capture & storage), including advocating further compensation measures for heaving polluting industries and more investment in so-called “clean coal” technologies.

And Brumby essentially has to with his government’s policies on water (the government still hasn’t instituted level 4 water restrictions in Melbourne despite the dams being very low and a very hot summer expected) and the government’s insistence on building a desalination plant. Oh and we can’t forget the government’s continuing deforestation policies for native and old growth forests, including the forests that provide our water catchments. Plus there is the strong efforts to increase international shipping to Melbourne with the dredging of Port Phillip Bay.

John Brumby. Credit: Andrew Kelly - flickr

John Brumby. Credit: Andrew Kelly (flickr.com)

Remarkably, the Victorian Government, Brumby, Hulls and any other senior cabinet minister remain starkly unmoved by the type of policies they are pursuing while attempting to convince voters they’re serious about action on climate change. The only serious action on climate change the Victorian Government is taking is to help accelerate climate change impacts. There has been little investment in renewable energy or research in associated industries; including failing to support the training transition for clean energy jobs – yep they’re increasing fees for TAFEs, the traditional training for most people that will be in and associated with clean energy jobs.

The government believes that it can continue to use the Mildura solar energy plant as its centre-piece on tackling climate change. The only problem is, it’s the only thing the Brumby Labor government has to talk up its environmental credibility. And with that the Labor machine will find it hard pressed to run on environmental sustainability or climate change in next year’s state election.

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