The Victorian Liberal Party will need a new strategy to win back government, Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told delegates at the party's state conference on Saturday.
The following day, state Opposition Leader Michael O'Brien then announced a new environment and energy policy centred around supporting waste to energy plants and improving Victoria's recycling infrastructure.
Speaking to the media at a City of Ballarat recycling contractor, he mentioned the words "environment or "environmental" at least 10 times, and vowed he would not "cede" the environment to Labor "or any other party".
The Liberals' plan, if elected, involves the construction of two waste to energy plants, in Maryvale attached to the Australian Paper mill, and in Ballarat in BWEZ, to completely eliminate household waste by 2035.
READ MORE: Hiatus for Ballarat's waste-to-energy plans
The plants, with undefined technology "currently being used" overseas, would burn or vapourise waste otherwise going to landfill, generating electricity in the process.
"We want to convert Victoria's household waste into clean, low emissions, reliable energy," he said.
"That's a win for the environment, and a win for taking pressure off power bills.
"If we can turn our 1.7 million tonnes of household waste into energy, that's the equivalent of taking about 340,000 cars off the road every year."
He said there would be no need for concern over emissions from the plants.
"It is clean in the air - any chemicals created during the process are treated and released as mostly oxygen and water vapour," he said.
"I'd be happy to live next door to one."
The policy also includes $120 million from Victoria's sustainability fund to help upgrade recycling facilities, as well as the Energy From Waste plan.
Government departments would be required to work with industry to get Victoria's waste management and recycling "back on track" - for example, using recycled plastic park benches at schools, train stations, and in parks.
At the Liberal Party conference, motions regarding preselection rules and drought policy were thoroughly debated across the weekend.
Several federal MPs were in attendance.
Mr Frydenberg's speech included several digs at media organisations for their predictions about the 2019 federal election, but returned several times to the local issues, as well as the ongoing drought and the NDIS.
"The last time we, as a federal party, won a majority of seats in Victoria was nine elections ago, in 1996," Mr Frydenberg reminded delegates.
Plans for fast rail to Ballarat were discussed, and an amended motion was passed calling for the state government to quadruplicate and electrify the rail line between Sunshine and Melton within its current term, and for the federal Liberal Party to match the commitment for Geelong fast rail to include Ballarat and Bendigo.
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