$2 billion Snowy windfall could help Victoria prepare for climate impacts

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The Federal government’s purchase of Victoria’s share of the iconic Snowy Hydro Scheme will deliver a $2 billion windfall for the state.

Friends of the Earth say the rare windfall could fund Victoria’s first climate-focused state budget.

“With the need to tackle climate change becoming more urgent, the state government must ramp up investment in measures to rein in emissions and protect communities from climate impacts,” said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth spokesperson.

“The Andrews government could use the $2 billion windfall from selling Victoria’s share of the iconic scheme to prepare our state for the 21st Century challenge of climate change.”

The Snowy Hydro Scheme is regarded as a visionary, nation-building project that had a lasting impact on Victoria. Will the windfall be used to invest in similarly visionary project? The state government has the money, does it have the political will?

“Like the Labor PM Ben Chifley who spearheaded the Snowy Hydro Scheme over 60 years ago, Premier Daniel Andrews has a rare opportunity to invest in something visionary.”

“Will his government prepare Victoria for the 21st Century challenge of climate change?”

Friends of the Earth remind the government that climate change has wide-ranging impacts on the state. Critical infrastructure such as roads and rail lines exposed to extreme weather and rising sea levels will need to be upgraded.

Communities that face increased bushfire risk, intensifying heatwaves, and droughts have their own needs that require state government support.

Despite record-low ice coverage at the poles, bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef, and record heat in parts of Victoria, the Federal Coalition is refusing to act on climate change.

Recently released data shows national emissions are increasing and that Australia will fail to meet emissions cuts it pledged under the Paris Agreement.

The Victorian Labor government has a strong record when it comes to dealing with climate change. With the support of The Greens and cross benchers, it has strengthened state climate change laws, banned fracking, and set ambitious renewable energy targets.

In coming months, the Daniel Andrews government will set the Victoria’s first interim Emissions Reduction Targets. The forthcoming decision will shape the state’s climate change efforts for decades.

“It will take investment from the Andrews government to put Victoria on track to meet the legislated target of zero net emissions by 2050.”

Friends of the Earth are closely following the Emissions Reduction Target process and climate change policy in Victoria.  

  • Lamby

    My money is the money will be spent on a big fat road full of cars going nowhere slowly.

  • MorinMoss

    How about explaining what the Snowy Hydro Scheme is & why it’s so wonderful

    • daw

      The proposal referred to as Snowy Hydro 2 is to expand the storage capacity of the existing scheme with a series of tunnels linking the various storages as well as installing pumps and pipelines to be able to pump water from the lower dams and reservoirs to the higher storages using renewable energy from wind and solar when it is available but not needed. This is then used to generate more electricity using hydropowered turbines as and when needed without burning coal and generating Carbon dioxide. Hope this simple explanation helps.

      • MorinMoss

        Thank you.

  • daw

    Oh what gloom and doom FoTT spruik …. we’lll all be rooned The climate is changing within the range that it has changed for centuries. Get real FoTT

    • Hans the Elder
      • daw

        YES REALLY. A Comic strip hardly qualifies as a reference Hans.
        Perhaps your sarcasm has escaped me or you have a wry sense of humour.

        • Hans the Elder

          The graph is based on scientific data. It is just a nice accessible way to show how unprecedented the rate of the current climate change is.

  • Barry Alternative Fact Covfefe

    Spend the money on more solar/wind/storage/EVs.