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Budget an Environmental Lightweight

Green Independent Adele Carles says the Government has missed a golden opportunity for real reform of our energy market, with its announcement today of a net feed-in tariff.

“While it is encouraging that the Government has allocated $23 million to the scheme, it simply will not cut the mustard in terms of outcomes,” Ms Carles said.

“It’s a feel good scheme, restricted to householders only, that will not deliver the long term investment needed in the renewable energy sector.”

Ms Carles said the international research shows that the only way to generate real investment in renewables is for the implementation of a gross feed in tariff.

“The gross tariff rewards the householder for every joule of electricity generated. Until we get a gross tariff in this State, we will not see the large scale take up needed to transform our energy market,” Ms Carles said.

The Member for Fremantle said householders are being hit with rising electricity prices today without any long term solution being offered.

“The international research shows that we need to get serious about investing in renewable if we want to see electricity prices come down in the long term,” Ms Carles said.

Environment funding in the spotlight

Ms Carles has also challenged the State Government to give the environment the same priority funding as regional royalties. This would mean doubling the environment budget.

“The funding allocated in today’s budget for the environment is around $400 million (about 2% of the total budget) which is approximately half of that earmarked for royalties for regions,” Ms Carles said.

“If we want the economic benefits of more development, we must be honest about the environmental costs.”

“In the context of a $22 billion spend, it is not out of the ballpark for the Government to double the funding for the environment to $800 million, to bring it into line with royalties for regions,” Ms Carles said.

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