24

Apr 20

Bendigo Greens criticise major parties

Jennifer Alden
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POLITICAL candidates willrampup their campaigns tomorrow asVictoria moves into caretaker mode from 6pm.

The Greens have already declared they will hold the major politicalparties to account on environmental policy, but remain tight-lipped about how their preferences will flow when the state goes to the pollson November 29.

Greens candidate for Bendigo East Jennifer Alden and Bendigo West John Brownstein have criticised themajor parties for their lack of environmental policies.

Ms Alden saysLabor and the Coalition’s policies on environmental issues are so far “missing in action”.

Labor saysthe party isyet to release its policies, while the Liberal Party believesa vote for the Greens isa vote for Labor.

Ms Alden said the coalition was “winding back and dismantling” environmental protections in Victoria.

But she said Labor had also not provided anycompellingenvironmental policy in the lead up to the election.

Ms Alden said her concerns locally related to renewable energy, the removal of wood from the Wellsford State Forest,the “decimation” of Parks Victoriaand the need to buildup the region’s agri-food industry.

Greens candidate for Bendigo West John Brownstein there were people in hiselectorate whowantedto see morerenewable technologies.

“The laws that are restricting wind energy are impacting on our electorate. Wehaven’t heard anything from the coalition candidatesabout that,” he said.

He said the Greens would move to introduce a state version of theRenewable Energy Target if the one at national level was abolished.

Liberal candidate for Bendigo East Greg Bickley did not list any specific environmental policies for the coalition.

“The Greens pose a serious economic risk to Victoria and Bendigo. A vote for the Greens is a vote for Labor,” he said.

Liberal candidate for Bendigo West Michael Langdon said the Napthine Government had a strong record on projects related to the environment.

“The Napthine Government supports the diversification of energy sources,” he said.

Labor is yet torelease its environmental policies.

Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said Labor wanted to grow therenewable energy industry.

Ms Edwards said local issues of concernwere the proposed broiler factory at Baringhup, restriction on progressive policy around wind farms and the solar energy industry.

Member for Bendigo EastJacinta Allan said the coalition’srecord with environmental policy was “woeful” and that Labor would give the community a “clear choice”.

“One of the challenges we’ve got in this area is the huge amount of uncertainty coming out of the Abbot Liberal government in thisarea,” Ms Allansaid.

“The Bendigo metro rail is a great example of a Labor policy that is about supporting the Bendigo community with a significant viable public transport alternative,” she said.

“It’susing the existing infrastructure and it’s going to be giving people an alternative to using the roads.”

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