GREENS ASK VICTORIAN LABOR TO CLARIFY STANCE ON COAL SEAM GAS

"Gary Gray's remarks show the federal ALP are clearly pro-Coal Seam Gas. Does Victorian Labor and Daniel Andrews feel the same?" said Ellen Sandell, Greens spokesperson for Energy.

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Anglesea Power Station to close

Today Alcoa announced it will close the infamous Anglesea Power Station.

This is a big win for the community who have been breathing in the toxic fumes from the plant for 46 years. The plant is less than 1km from the local primary school and has posed unacceptable health risks for children and families for decades. It is also a big win for the climate. Coal power is on the way out. Every step towards eliminating brown coal, which pose a massive threat to our climate, is a win to celebrate.

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Ellen’s Speech in Reply to the 2015-2016 State Budget

Ms SANDELL (Melbourne) — I thank the people of Melbourne and Victoria because, by electing Greens to this house, for the very first time they have given us not only an opportunity to respond to Labor’s first budget but also an opportunity to outline an alternative vision for this state. When Labor took office last November I welcomed the change of government. For too long we had seen a wholesale attack on our climate, our environment, our public services and our health and education services by the Liberal and The Nationals coalition government. That absolutely needed to stop. But a change of government is only good if it also signals a change of course.

This government has the opportunity to rewrite the future of this state to make Victoria a better and fairer place for everyone. Labor has taken the reins from a government that set the bar very low on the environment, on public services and on caring for the community, but it is not good enough just to get the bar back to the previous level by undoing some of the damage that has been done. The Andrews Labor government must meet a higher standard. It must show real ambition and vision for our state, and it must make the bold decisions that we need to create the sustainable future we all need and want. The people of Victoria demand this of the government. 

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Adjournment – Anglesea Power Station

Anglesea power station Ms SANDELL (Melbourne) — I raise the matter of the Anglesea power station. The action I seek is that the Minister for Energy and Resources write to Surf Coast Air Action Inc. explaining what conditions she intends to impose on any future owners of the Anglesea power station site, should it be sold. In particular I would like her to specify whether she will require the rehabilitation of the site by the current and future owners, whether she will mandate the installation of sulphur dioxide scrubbers and whether the owners of the plant will have to contribute the estimated $170 million in health costs that Harvard University researchers have calculated the Anglesea coal plant causes each year.

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Speech to the Legislative Assembly – Regional Development Victoria Amendment (Jobs and Infrastructure) Bill 2015

Ms SANDELL — The Greens support this bill to establish a new fund for regional Victoria. Rural and regional Victoria is in my blood. As many people would know, I grew up in Mildura, and my family still lives there. My mother’s family is from a dairy farming community in South Gippsland. There were significant advantages to growing up in the country, but I have also experienced firsthand a lot of the challenges faced by rural and regional communities. I remember how former Premier Jeff Kennett left regional Victoria behind and paid dearly for it. I have seen towns die due to lack of investment, and I do not want to see that continue. To encourage development in rural and regional Victoria there is much we need to do, and it needs to go beyond a marginal seat approach. Of course we need to improve access to services and transport, create jobs and protect livability and livelihoods, but we also need to deal with some of the really big issues that are coming down the line. 

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