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The Victoria State Government has announced it is bringing back the State Electricity Commission (SEC), designed to drive down power bills and create thousands of jobs in renewable, government-owned energy.

The Victorian Budget 2023/24 allocates investment in the SEC to drive jobs in renewable energy, while also investing to protect Victoria’s natural environment and help Victorian families with cost of living relief.

An initial $1 billion investment in the SEC will help deliver 4.5GW of power – the equivalent replacement capacity of Loy Yang A – through renewable energy projects.

The State Government said bringing back the SEC won’t just mean more renewable energy, lower power bills and reduced carbon emissions – it will also help create 59,000 jobs.

Victoria Minister for Energy and Resources, Climate Action and the State Electricity Commission, Lily D’Ambrosio, said, “We’re doing what matters for Victorians: bringing back the SEC to kickstart renewable energy investment, drive down power bills, tackle climate change and create thousands of jobs.”

Since Victoria’s energy was privatised, the sector has experienced a chronic shortage of workers in trades. The SEC will help find and train the next generation of tradespeople: maintenance workers, lineys, electricians – but also welders, painters and mechanics. Highly qualified, highly paid workers – working not for big business profit, but for people.

Other key energy investments in the Budget 2023/24 include: 

  • $12 million to develop new VET qualifications, fund a business case for the SEC Centre of Training Excellence and deliver on the Victorian Energy Jobs Plan
  • $10 million for a Hydrogen Energy Worker Training Centre 
  • $6 million for a Wind Worker Training Centre
  • $20 million to keep working towards Victoria’s world-leading emission reduction targets of 75‑80 per cent by 2035
  • $15.3 million package to ensure energy safety legislation keeps pace with rapidly evolving technology, protecting the safety of electrical workers, households and the community
  • $20.6 million to support VicGrid’s planning and community consultation for Victoria’s transmission network
  • $400 million to roll out another round of the $250 Power Saving Bonus to every Victorian household
  • $58.2 million to install 100 new neighbourhood batteries at targeted locations across Victoria – tripling the number of homes with access to a battery and providing crucial extra storage capacity for local communities – as well as interest-free loans for household batteries
  • $130,000 in local renewable energy technology for the communities of Benambra and Healesville
  • $27 million to progress development on the Victorian Renewable Energy Terminal at the Port of Hastings
  • $5.1 million to keep progressing the Gas Substitution Roadmap to drive electrification and reduce reliance on fossil gas
  • $23.2 million to streamline and reform approval processes for the Federal Government’s Big Build, fast-tracking the responsible development of minerals and quarried resources
  • $3.9 million for half-price camping fees at bookable campgrounds
  • $10.2 million to keep it free for kids to visit Victoria’s world-class zoos on weekends, public holidays and school holidays
  • $21.5 million for the Open Space for Everyone fund 
  • $11 million to protect and enhance Serendip Sanctuary and the You Yangs (Wurdi Youang)
  • $13.7 million for the VicCoasts coastal protection program 
  • $4 million to support the ongoing management of parks and reserves along the Great Ocean Road
  • $7.2 million for Victoria’s native wildlife, including the creation of a new Wildlife Hospital in south-western Victoria, support for the Wildlife Emergency Support Network and Wildlife Victoria’s Wildlife Hotline, and expansion of Zoos Victoria’s Wildlife Outreach program to help regional veterinarians treat sick and injured wildlife
  • Permanent relief from the waste levy for the charitable recycling sector so operators can help Victorians in need and raise important funds for charity without having to pay for their waste and recycling
  • $2.9 million for the ResourceSmart Schools program
  • $46.9 million for the Environment Protection Authority
  • $36.5 million to bolster the forest firefighting workforce, including delivering on an election commitment to make 50 ongoing roles for Forest Fire Operations Officers
  • $17.5 million in skills training and equipment to prepare for a rapid response to any emergency animal disease detection
  • $31.2 million for Victorian producers, including $3 million for farm safety programs, $10 million for the Distillery Door program, $5 million for the Wine to the World program and $5 million in hospitality scholarships
  • $9.5 million to deliver new Animal Care and Protection laws, and to support Victoria’s beloved animal welfare organisations
  • $10 million Green Links fund, protecting Melbourne’s urban waterways 
  • $12.4 million towards opening up new opportunities for people to enjoy recreation at Tarago Reservoir
  • $1.2 million further investment to continue the benefits achieved through the Central and Gippsland Region Sustainable Water Strategy, including the Community Rebate Program and the community housing retrofit program – and continue our partnerships with Traditional Owner groups on long-term water management strategy

Victoria Minister for Environment, Ingrid Stitt, said, “We know cost of living pressures are the reality for many families, so we’re making sure they don’t miss out on exploring the natural environment Victoria has to offer – with half-price camping in National Parks, free entry for kids to our zoos and better parks and playgrounds across the state.”

Victoria Minister for Agriculture, Gayle Tierney, said, “We’re backing our world-class agriculture industry and the Victorians who rely on it, helping farmers access new markets at home and overseas and future-proofing the sector against pests and diseases.”

Victorian Minister for Water, Harriet Shing, said, “We’re continuing our work to improve the health of our urban creeks, rivers and waterways as well as helping vulnerable Victorians to improve their water efficiency – saving them money on bills and securing our precious drinking water supply.”

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