RIPON MP Louise Staley has voted against legislation to enable a Victorian Renewable Energy Target.
Ms Staley told parliament that her vote was influenced by what she saw as potential impacts on jobs, hospital budgets and the cost of living in Ararat.
“When we look at the East Grampians Health Service, which is in Ararat where I live, the chief executive of that hospital service has said that their power prices are going up 100 per cent — from $200 000 to a total of $400 000,” she said.
“Again the government has not seen fit to put in additional funding to cover these power price increases.”
Labor Ivanhoe MP Anthony Carbines used Ararat Wind Farm as an example in his argument that a Victorian Renewable Energy target would create jobs and investment.
“The bill of course will legislate renewable energy generation targets till 2020 and 2025 to encourage investment, employment and technology development in renewable energy,” he said.
Ms Staley also referred to Fairfax Media coverage of the potential impact from rising power prices on the private sector.
“in Ararat we have Gason. In the local press they noted that not containing energy prices is going to put employment at risk,” Ms Staley said.
“They are a manufacturer. Mr Pye, their managing director, said 'Energy prices seem to be out of control'.
“Another major employer in Ararat, and one that is kicking great goals in terms of their business being able to attract new business, is AME Systems.
“I spoke this week with the chief executive of AME Systems, Nick Carthew, and he told me that despite the company investing very heavily in new technologies, their power prices are still increasing rapidly.”
“Businesses are hurting, employment in Ripon is hurting.”
Ms Carbines said he had travelled to Ararat in July 2015 when the federal government was trying to limit wind power projects.
“I want to quote from an article in the Herald Sun,” Mr Carbines said.
“Premier Daniel Andrews has urged the federal government to end its war against wind power by renewing the state government's commitment to building Australia's third biggest wind farm near Ararat.
“'If you are opposed to wind energy, clean energy then you are opposed to all the jobs that come with it,” Mr Andrews said.”