Renewable Energy

QUESTION

Mr  PURCELL (Western Victoria) — My question is to the Minister for Regional Development in her capacity representing the Minister for Industry. We congratulate the government on its recent announcement to introduce Victoria's Renewable Energy Roadmap at Keppel Prince in Portland. After substantial industry uncertainty we are thrilled to see that the renewable energy roadmap will bring forward hundreds of millions of dollars in new investment and establish a renewable energy target of no less than 20 per cent by 2020 and create thousands of local jobs. I ask: what structure has the renewable energy roadmap incorporated to ensure that the bulk of these jobs are local jobs?

Ms PULFORD (Minister for Agriculture) — I thank Mr  Purcell for his question and his long-time advocacy on the question of renewable energy jobs, particularly in the south-west, where there are so many fabulous opportunities. I will take on notice the detail of the question for Minister D'Ambrosio and seek a detailed response, but I take the opportunity to indicate to Mr  Purcell that of course creating jobs and sustaining our local industries and indeed our renewable energy industries is a central focus of the Andrews Labor government. This is an essential part of our clean energy plan, and the government purchasing initiative and other actions will, we believe, drive investment and job creation.

Further details on how these actions will drive local jobs will be set out in the government's purchasing initiative guidelines, which are currently being developed, and the renewable energy action plan. I am advised that that work is to be concluded by the end of this year. The renewable energy roadmap is a key input into the action plan, and members of the community, including those in the south-western area from where Mr  Purcell reigns and where there is such an interest in renewable energy jobs, will be able to respond to the road map and put forward their ideas.

Supplementary question

Mr  PURCELL (Western Victoria) — I thank the minister for her answer, and I look forward to being involved in that process. I suggest that maybe as a part of it the government could create employment training programs with regional businesses that would support the network and ensure that employment at a local base is maximised.

Ms PULFORD (Minister for Agriculture) — I thank Mr  Purcell for his further question and again reiterate that we would very much welcome Mr  Purcell's input and that of communities right across Victoria — in this instance we are particularly talking about those in the south-west of the state — and of all members of Parliament who may wish to have some input into this process on behalf of their communities. The benefits are enormous. We are working very hard to stimulate and foster an environment that is conducive to investment and innovation in our renewable energy sector, and we look forward to working with the community, with those industries and with all members of Parliament as we proceed on this course.