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. 

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 

Commercial roo cull is bad competitor to honest farming

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber is pledging to fight to reverse the decision to introduce commercial kangaroo culling to Victoria.
"The Napthine government is giving in to pressure from the National Party," said Greg Barber MLC
"This will undermine Victoria's legitimate livestock industry.  Livestock farmers go to great lengths to comply with animal welfare, meat quality and safety, but this gives them a new competitor who doesn't have to meet the same standards."  

Greens call on Premier to consult residents on Hazelwood inquiry

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber today called on the Premier to ensure that Morwell residents are consulted over the terms of reference of the Board of Inquiry into the Hazelwood coal mine fire.

"The government is on the back foot again, belatedly announcing an inquiry without any terms of reference. The people of Morwell should be consulted over the terms of reference for this inquiry, because they suffered the health and pollution impact of the fire," said Greg Barber MLC. 

Selling the Port is a bad idea

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber says selling off the Port of Melbourne is a bad idea.
"The Port of Melbourne returned $175 million in dividends to Victorians over the last five years. That's on net assets of around $1.5 billion. Selling the Port isn't 'free money'; we'd lose the stream of income we've been getting," said Greg Barber MLC
"The Productivity Commission says financial returns of Australian ports are 'not indicative of excessive profit taking'. So how is a new operator going to squeeze more juice out of the orange? New and higher fees? Property development? If I was an exporter, I'd be worried. 

Judicial Inquiry needed for Hazelwood

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber today called for the establishment of a judicial inquiry into the Hazelwood mine fire.
"The Premier should demonstrate some leadership by establishing a judicial inquiry to get to the bottom of this entire debacle," said Greg Barber MLC
"This is a distressing and dangerous situation for Morwell residents. I first called for a partial, medically-prioritised evacuation of Morwell on 17 February. Since then, people have been breathing ash and coughing up muck. The Chief Health Officer has just confirmed this course of action. 

Premier should lead evacuation of vulnerable from Morwell coal fire

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber today called on Premier Denis Napthine to start evacuating the most vulnerable people affected by the Hazelwood coal mine fire.

Mr Barber said, ‘Premier Denis Napthine needs to step up, show leadership and do everything required to protect the health of the people of Morwell.

‘Premier Napthine has to step in and take direct responsibility for the Hazelwood coal fire health crisis.

‘This morning we had a nice gesture with the Premier offering his house in Port Fairy as a safe respite for one family from Morwell, but his job as Victoria’s leader is to fix the problem for all 13,000 people of Morwell. 

Morwell ash 'has to be experienced to be believed'

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber, in Morwell today, says the community wants urgent answers on the health risks of the ash raining on the town from the Hazelwood coal mine fire.
"The ash from the Hazelwood fire is raining down on Morwell and it has to be experienced to be believed. People are walking the streets in surgical masks, it's in your eyes, it's working its way inside every building. I can feel it as grit between my teeth," said Greg Barber MLC