Speech on Planning and Environment Amendment (Recognising Objectors) Bill 2015

Ms SANDELL (Melbourne) — I rise to affirm that the Greens in this house will support the Planning and Environment Amendment (Recognising Objectors) Bill 2015. However, I take this opportunity to raise a few concerns that we have and ask the minister kindly to clarify a few aspects of the bill. The Greens are of course in favour of more effective and genuine community participation in the decision-making around the planning process. If we want to sustain a truly livable city, we need to empower communities to be involved in decisions about their city and about what they want the city of the future to look like.

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Breaking news: Port Augusta coal plants to close

The Victorian Greens have warned that the latest coal plant closure in Port Augusta shows that the closure of Hazelwood is inevitable, and have urged the Victorian Government to immediately repower coal regions like the Latrobe Valley with renewable energy.

"First Anglesea coal plant, and now Port Augusta is closing. This shows coal is on the way out. This is an opportunity to repower coal regions with renewable energy, to keep jobs in local towns.
"However, neither the Victorian or SA state governments have transition plans to help the workers and communities move away from the dirty, uneconomic coal of the past and towards the renewable energy of the future. This is deeply irresponsible." said Ellen Sandell, Victorian Greens spokesperson for energy.
"Hazelwood in the Latrobe Valley is the dirtiest coal plant in Australia and has terrible health impacts for the local community. The Victorian State Government must urgently develop a community-led transition plan for the Latrobe Valley to make sure when Hazelwood inevitably shuts, communities and workers aren't left in the lurch" said Ms Sandell.
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Climate Change Act review must produce strong action

Today the Labor Government announced the start of its review of the Climate Change Act 2010, to report by the end of the year.

"The review of the Climate Change Act must focus on making Victoria a leader on climate change action. Strong targets for emissions reduction, especially from coal-fired power, should be fixed in law" said Ellen Sandell, Greens spokesperson for climate change.

"No government can claim to have a credible plan for action on climate change unless they have a plan to replace coal-fired power - Labor's review must come up with a plan to replace coal with renewable energy" said Ms Sandell.

"We commend Labor for taking this first step, and will be watching closely to make sure strong action is enshrined in law and there is a strong plan to replace coal with renewables" she said.

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Ellen calls on parliament to keep Melbourne liveable

 The year 2014 marked the fourth year in a row Melbourne has been named the world’s most livable city, but what are the ingredients of livability? I think it describes a city built with people in mind, one with robust public transport and bike paths, open green space, public art, places for commerce and entertainment, and which protects our heritage

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Greens reintroduce Bill to scrap Alcoa's FOI exemption

Two weeks ago, Alcoa announced that its coal mine and power plant at Anglesea will close its doors. The community is now wondering how the mine will be rehabilitated, to ensure it’s safe and the environment is protected. Unfortunately, Alcoa is still exempt from Freedom of Information laws, which means the community has no right to ask questions and receive answers about Alcoa’s rehabilitation plans. That’s why this week the Greens have reintroduced a bill to end Alcoa’s exemption from FOI laws.

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