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The Victorian government has backed an upper house motion in parliament calling for a big build of renewable energy projects ahead of the upcoming state budget.
The "Green New Deal" motion was moved by the Greens in the Legislative Council on Wednesday and passed with a vote of 22 to 15 with the support of Labor MPs.
It's the first time an Australian state or territory has formally endorsed a "Green New Deal", a term popularised in recent times after a proposal of the same name was voted down in US Congress last year.
Although non-binding, the Victorian motion acknowledges the state's commitment to climate-friendly, job-creating projects as it emerges from the COVID-19 recession.
Ellen Sandell, acting leader of the Victorian Greens, said the government had sent a clear message on its economic recovery plans.
"Victorians don't just want Victoria to go back to the situation we had before COVID-19, where we had rising homelessness, polluting coal energy, environmental destruction and workers in caring professions with terrible pay and conditions," she said.
"Victorians instead want our government to build a better future for Victoria, and the government has a once-in-a-generation opportunity with this budget to fix some of the problems society faced before COVID-19 hit."
Under the Greens-led plan, Victoria would embark on a big build of public housing and renewable energy projects and employ more teachers, healthcare staff and community workers.
Public investment would also be pumped into projects to regenerate bushfire-affected areas and protect threatened species, commission bike lanes and build recycling plants.
The Victorian government will hand down the state budget on November 24 and has already pre-announced $84 million to build the southern hemisphere's biggest battery, as well as $235 million to create hundreds of jobs across health and support services.
This article first appeared on www.canberratimes.com.au
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