Early voting is already open for the Victorian election on Saturday, 26 November.
Labor’s Daniel Andrews is seeking a third term as Premier. His opponent is Coalition leader Matthew Guy. Greens and independent candidates are expected to be competitive in seats across the state.
Over the next few days, we’ll summarise policy promises for a few key issues, starting with climate change.
Like many state and territory governments, Victoria has its own targets for emissions reduction and for the use of renewable energy.
Previously, the state government aimed to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and to generate half of its electricity from renewables by 2030.
The Labor government announced new targets in October.
Labor has now promised net zero emissions by 2045, and a 75-80% emissions reduction by 2035. It also plans to generate 95% of the state’s energy from renewables by 2035.
To increase renewable generation, Labor wants to re-establish the government-owned State Electricity Commission (SEC). The SEC’s assets were sold to the private sector in the 1990s. The re-established SEC would generate renewable power, although specific details have not been finalised.
The Coalition is targeting net zero emissions by 2050 and a 50% reduction by 2030.
It plans to invest $1 billion in research and development for hydrogen energy generation and to upgrade the state’s transmission infrastructure. In the short-term, it wants to reserve Victorian gas supplies for local use.
The Coalition is promising to boost tree planting in the city. It has also promised to reverse the Labor Government’s ban on native timber logging, which is due to start in 2030.
Greens and others
The Greens want the state to reach net zero emissions by 2035 or sooner, and to reduce emissions by 80% by 2030. They’re also calling for 100% renewable energy by 2030.
They propose to ban any new coal, oil or gas projects in the state and to ban new homes from connecting to gas. They also propose an end to native forest logging in 2023.
A number of ‘teal’ independent candidates are also calling for strong climate targets.