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 

Government loses opportunity on jury directions bill

Victorian Greens Justice spokesperson, Sue Pennicuik, expressed surprise at the defeat of the Jury Directions Amendment Bill 2013 in the Legislative Assembly last night. The bill was voted down by the Opposition and Geoff Shaw because the government forced it to a vote when there had been no debate on the proposed laws.

Jumps racing claims another victim, Viva Delspec: Greens say ban jumps racing

Viva Delspec, a 7yo bay gelding (male) was put down after suffering a knee injury at Warrnambool yesterday at only the second race of the 2014 Victorian Jumps Racing season which runs until 28 September.

Victorian Greens Animal Welfare spokesperson Sue Pennicuik MLC said she is dismayed that yet another horse has been killed in a jumps race and is calling again on the government to ban this cruel and barbaric ‘sport.’

Greens call for committee inquiry into law permitting strip searching most vulnerable children

The Greens will call for an commitee inquiry into legislation that allows strip searches and isolation* of children in secure welfare protection, when the Children, Youth and Families Amendment (Security Measures) Bill 2013 is debated in Victorian Parliament today.

"Secure welfare services are the most extreme form of child protection. The best practices in child welfare should be implemented, not invasive strip searches," said Colleen Hartland, Victorian Greens spokesperson for children and young people.

Mental Health Act a missed opportunity for children and women's health

The Greens have welcomed the Victorian Mental Health Act passed this week as a big step forward, but flawed practices which potentially impact children and women's health have been allowed continued. The Greens say it is a huge missed opportunity.

While The Greens were successful in getting up an important gender identity amendment, the government and Labor's rejection of other Greens initiatives means that children can continue to receive electroconvulsive treatment and there is no principle included that women should be housed separate to men where possible.

"The Greens identified gender identity as critical to be excluded from the definition of a mental illness. Our community members have a right to express their gender identity without fear of this being labelled a mental illness,” said Victorian Greens spokesperson on health, Colleen Hartland.

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."  

More protected species massacred on opening weekend of the duck shooting season

Victorian Greens Animal Welfare spokesperson Sue Pennicuik MLC, attended the opening of the duck shooting season, at Lake Elizabeth, near Kerang in northern Victoria.

“While few ducks were shot at Lake Elizabeth, I was glad to see DEPI officers present to ensure the safety of the large number of swans that were there. Every year, we see swans illegally shot and left on the water to die,” Ms Pennicuik said. “The officers, however, seemed more focussed on enforcing new fines and banning orders on duck rescuers.”

“Sadly, over the course of the morning, we received reports of another massacre of native water birds, including protected freckled ducks at Lake Lonsdale, near Stawell, where very few DEPI officers appeared to be present.