VICTORIAN Greens senator-elect Janet Rice has warned that the government’s moves to cut the national renewable energy target scheme could cost jobs in the Ballarat region.
“The government is happy to subsidise fossil fuels through the diesel fuel subsidy and incentives for coal-fired power plants. They need to provide stability to the renewable energy market,” she said on Tuesday.
The renewable energy target currently provides incentive for large-scale renewable energy projects – such as the community-owned Hepburn Wind turbines – and smaller solar projects that provide an income for solar installers.
Ms Rice was visiting Ballarat Grammar’s green year nine centre, and praised the school for its sustainable building practices and technology.
Year 12 student Ry Parrott, who was awarded a Premier’s Award for environmental science last year, said it was great to see a politician interested in the environment.
Senator-elect Rice said it was important to get young people engaged with environmental issues.
“It’s their future, and if we include them in our actions now, they will be empowered to act on their own.”
Senator-elect Rice is cycling from Melbourne to Canberra before she takes office on July 1, and will be riding through Ballan and Daylesford on Wednesday.