Resources Legislation Amendment Bill 2015

Ms SANDELL (Melbourne) — I rise to affirm that the Greens will support what is essentially a good bill, but I will make some comments because, yet again, it is a bill that is really tinkering around the edges when what we need is bold action on something that is so serious.

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Media Release - Auditor General confirms dangers of unconventional gas

Greens energy spokesperson Ellen Sandell says a new Auditor General report confirms the dangers of unconventional gas and the government should now commit to a permanent ban.

"The Auditor General's report today proves that unconventional gas has the potential to cause significant damage to our water, land and environment, and the Government has not sufficiently addressed these dangerous risks," Ms Sandell said.

"Allowing this highly risky, highly toxic industry to go ahead would be reckless and a betrayal of regional communities.

“In NSW and Queensland we’ve seen underhand and dodgy behaviour from coal seam gas companies who have caused serious damage to farmland and our environment and water.

"This report is further evidence that the Labor Government must join the Greens in committing to a permanent ban on this toxic industry in Victoria," she said.

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Infrastructure Victoria Bill 2015

Ms SANDELL (Melbourne) — The Greens are happy to support this bill for the development of Infrastructure Victoria. I would like to congratulate the government for establishing this body to oversee infrastructure in a way that is independent and that also has a long-term view for the development of this state.

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Local Government Legislation Amendment (Environmental Upgrade Agreements) Bill 2015

Ms SANDELL (Melbourne) — It will be no surprise to anyone that the Greens are very happy to support this bill, the Local Government Legislation Amendment (Environmental Upgrade Agreements) Bill 2015. The bill, as others have said, extends the successful environmental upgrade agreement scheme currently in place in the city of Melbourne to all councils across the state. I want to start by thanking the staff and councillors of the City of Melbourne, in particular Cr Leppert and Cr Oke, for the great work they have done in sustainability over the last few years. I know that the City of Melbourne has been a real leader in this space in a number of ways. It is good to see that this environmental upgrade agreement scheme can now be rolled out in other councils, enabling third-party financiers to provide loans for owners of non-residential buildings for sustainability, environmental and energy-efficiency upgrades that will then be repaid through council rates.

This is exactly the kind of innovative financing mechanism we should be looking at to support renewable energy and energy efficiency and to help us deal with climate change.

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Member's Statement - Unconventional Gas

Ms SANDELL (Melbourne) — I rise today to congratulate over 60 Victorian communities who have declared themselves gas field free. Victoria is currently covered by over 400 000 hectares of approved coal, coal seam gas, tight gas and shale gas exploration licences. But in communities across Victoria, farmers stand shoulder to shoulder with environmentalists, health professionals, people in tourism and locals in calling for a permanent ban on unconventional gas, fracking and coal seam gas.

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