Ms BATH (Eastern Victoria) (09:59): Last week I attended the Gippsland New Energy Conference in Sale, and I congratulate the Wellington shire and partners on a dynamic event, with presentations on solar, on offshore wind, on hydrogen, on transmission, on storage, on energy from landfill and more. There were hundreds of people with a keen interest in investment in our future energy landscape.
Latrobe Valley is at the epicentre of change, and it has the most to lose. However, the physical infrastructure, the human resources and the industry capability mean central Gippsland also has the potential to be a key player in the solution. This week the city-based Greens introduced a reckless, harebrained and ideologically driven bill that will shut down all coal-fired power stations by 2030. This bill will see Victorians suffer from extended blackouts and unaffordable electricity prices, businesses will be forced to close and families will suffer. Even in the best-case scenario renewable energy is just not going to be up and running in eight years. The radical Greens will condemn Latrobe workers to the unemployment line and our state to becoming a basket case. The question is: will Labor negotiate with city preferences and do a deal with these reckless, reckless Greens?