A state based Renewable Energy Target opens the door for south-west Victoria to become a hub for renewable energy generation in Australia, says Member for Western Victoria James Purcell.

In Parliament on May 6 Mr Purcell called on the State Government to establish a state target and provide security and certainty for the renewables industry.

Mr Purcell welcomed the Labor Government’s commitment this week to a Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET), saying it offered much needed stability to regional businesses suffering from the uncertainty surrounding current renewal energy projects.

And while this week’s federal bipartisan agreement of a 33,000 gigawatt hours national RET was welcomed, there was still more to be done, he said.

“Without states being able to top up the RET with their own state based targets, a number of major renewable energy projects won’t go ahead, costing jobs and growth in our region,” Mr Purcell said.

“Every state has different natural energy resources and should be able to tailor a program to work to their individual strengths and weaknesses.

“It also provides security to the industry if the national RET should fall over.”

Mr Purcell said the uncertainty around renewable energy in the region had already cost jobs and investment.

“Western Victoria has the potential to become the renewable energy hub of Australia, but the lack of action by all levels of government is wrecking the industry,” he said.

“Hundreds of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in investment have been lost in my electorate alone due to the lack of support for renewable energy.”

For example, Keppel Prince in Portland put off 100 workers late last year due to the uncertainty surrounding the wind industry. He called on the Government to offer some support for local businesses suffering amidst the uncertainty. The VRET was a good start, he said.

“It’s vital we support a Victorian renewable energy target, especially when our region has such a strong wind resource available. There is great opportunity for south-west Victoria to establish itself as the renewable energy hub of Australia, leading to jobs and investment for our region as well as global environmental benefits.”