This week, Rod rose to speak on the Green New Deal Motion.
Wednesday 11th November
Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (15:19): I am speaking on the Green New Deal. This motion calls upon the government to commit to significant, essential and important action to ensure Victoria’s livability. I have been consistent. We need to encourage a mode shift to public transport, including walking, biking—obviously not for me but for others—and shared modes of transport. This will reduce traffic congestion, improve our local environments and reduce emissions.
Victoria generated 15.3 million tonnes of rubbish between 2018 and 2019. This is approximately 2.5 tonnes per Victorian, and we need to do better. We need to reduce our waste if we are to protect our wildlife and our environments. In October this year Western Australia followed Queensland and South Australia in launching a container deposit scheme. This is one way to reduce litter, improve recycling rates and create new employment opportunities. After all, a similar scheme in Queensland reduced container litter by 35 per cent. We are trailing behind these other states.
Moreover, not only do we need to improve Victorian recycling habits but we also need to reduce emissions. The bushfires demonstrated the impact carbon dioxide and toxic air has on our health earlier this year. In addition, solar panels, wind turbines and water energy are the way of the future. It is for these reasons I fully support publicly owned renewable energy and storage projects to transition Victoria away from fossil fuels. In addition this will generate new employment opportunities as we build, monitor and run these new sources of energy.
Furthermore, this year I have consistently recognised and explained to this Parliament the deep and lasting impact that homelessness has. Now is the time for action. COVID-19 has impacted on not only health but our economy and simply the ability of many individuals to stay afloat. Throughout this pandemic the government has been fantastic in getting those who are sleeping rough off the streets, yet this is temporary. We have to ask: what now? To boost our economy and to reduce the number of individuals experiencing homelessness, I urge the government to swiftly build new public housing across Victoria. It is not enough to only build public housing; obviously we must create new job opportunities to reduce the number of those experiencing homelessness due to financial hardships. Reviving our retail, hospitality, transport and service industries is an essential aspect of this.
In conclusion I urge the government in considering their upcoming state budget to put the needs of Victorians first. This means creating jobs across multiple industries, further investing in new technology and future energy, reducing waste and improving Victoria for the better. It is no surprise that I support changing Victoria’s perspective towards public transport, investing in clean technology and reducing homelessness, and therefore I support this motion wholeheartedly.