Public Forum: How to fix Hoddle St


*The future of transport along Hoddle Street hangs in the balance* The state government has announced an "engineering study" into the congestion on Hoddle Street at significant taxpayers' expense.  With the Victorian government recently being exposed on sham consultations, there are no guarantees that the community will be genuinely involved in decision making on the future of Hoddle Street.

Latest data shows Solar booming in Victoria this year

Solar is still growing fast in Victoria despite cutbacks to government support, the Greens say. The latest data just released* shows solar installations are booming in the first two months of 2014.
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber said: "Despite the federal and state government cutting back support for solar in December 2012, solar boomed in 2013 and has showed no sign of slowing in the first part of this year."
"Another 2,352 homes and businesses went solar in January and 2,476 in February. That's about 9 or 10 megawatts being added every month. People who install solar cut their own power bills, but they help keep everyone's bill lower by taking pressure off the power grid." 

Greens will help Victorians bank on solar

Australian Greens leader Christine Milne joined Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber on the campaign trail today, announcing an initiative to help Victoria achieve its 5% solar energy target.

The Victorian Solar Bank would work much like the federal Clean Energy Finance Corporation, providing funds to invest in solar and clean technology around the state. 

Speech to Eastern Transport Coalition


Speech to the Eastern Transport Coalition, 9 April 2014

Fifty years ago, Melbourne was a world class public transport city. For as long as I can remember, there has always been a movement to take it back in that direction.

Greens pitch to rising solar voter base

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber today said that if the one in ten Victorian households with solar panels changed their vote on the basis of support for solar energy, this could affect the outcome of the Victorian election.
Mr Barber announced election initiatives to pitch to the solar vote in his speech to open the Solar Energy Industries Association conference in Ballarat and released data on the growing number of solar households in each Victorian electorate.
"There are over 207,000 households in Victoria with solar PV and the Greens are the only party that stands behind them," said Greg Barber MLC
"Regional and suburban electorates are leading the way, installing solar panels to cut the cost of electricity today, which cuts pollution in the long run. 

Hoarded growth areas taxes should be spent on bus services

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber has pledged to spend taxes collected from growth area development on better bus services for outer suburbs.
"Money collected by the state government from growth areas development taxes is being hoarded rather than spent. There's a desperate need for buses that take people to the train station, because the car parks are full," said Greg Barber 

Climate change unites us, locally and globally


Hon. D. M. DAVIS (Minister for Health) -- I move:
   That this house --
     (1) notes the resolution of this house of 29 October 2013 calling on the federal opposition, other non-government parties and Independents in the federal Parliament to support the early abolition of the carbon tax, noting the federal coalition government's mandate to repeal the carbon tax;
     (2) further notes the federal Labor opposition and federal Greens party continue to frustrate the federal coalition government's clear mandate to repeal the carbon tax;
     (3) expresses its concern at the ongoing adverse impact of the carbon tax on Victorian families, individuals, senior citizens and businesses, particularly the additional costs added to --
        (a) manufacturing and manufactured exports; and
        (b) public and private health services; and -- --
     (4) confirms its support for the immediate repeal of the carbon tax legislation and calls on all Victorian political parties to recognise the clear view of the Australian people expressed at the last federal election and advocate for the immediate repeal of the carbon tax.

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- It was my intention to dismiss this motion with just a few words, noting that the substance of the motion is to encourage a purely symbolic re-run of a vote that has already occurred in the right jurisdiction, the federal Senate, where the issue for the time being has of course been determined.

Transport (Safety Schemes Compliance and Enforcement) Bill 2014


Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- The Greens will support the Transport (Safety Schemes Compliance and Enforcement) Bill 2014. It is a large bill covering a whole number of aspects of safety schemes, and as a general principle we support the national consistency of those schemes.

Public transport as a transport mode is a very safe way to travel compared to the use of the motor vehicle. In fact when you compare the number of serious accidents that occur on public transport relative to the number of people who use it and the number of kilometres they travel, it is generally agreed that travelling by public transport is about six times safer than travelling for the same amount of time or distance by motor vehicle. While there are frequent and very unfortunate accidents in and around the public transport system, overall we must bear in mind that a city based on public transport for a larger proportion of its travel is inevitably going to be a safer city than one where we all rely on personal motor vehicles.

Water Amendment (Water Trading) Bill 2014


Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- In brief summary, the purpose of this legislation is to give effect to some of Victoria's commitments regarding water trading under the Murray Darling Basin plan. Like The Nationals, the Greens have some reservations about water trading and a market mechanism to achieve either the environmental or economic outcomes. It depends very much on whether you are in opposition or government at the time.

The bill also provides for the Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH) using water trading to achieve its aims. I hope this bill is not affecting its statutory duties and objectives.