Key initiatives under the package

Environment, Parks, Coasts and Marine

Funding ensures we protect our native plants and animals through our new biodiversity plan, provide educational opportunities for young people to engage in and learn about our environment, and improve our parks and reserves

$86.3 million over four years and $20 million per year ongoing from the Sustainability Fund to implement Victoria’s new biodiversity plan. This includes:

  • $65.5 million for targeted on ground biodiversity actions
  • $5.8 million for measuring and reporting on progress against targets
  • $5.4 million for native vegetation regulations reform and reporting
  • $2.5 million for marine environment targeted actions
  • $2.5 million for Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act reform implementation
  • $2 million for the Strategic Management Prospects decision support system
  • $1.8 million for new approaches for managing endangered species and our sensitive sub-alpine environments under climate change
  • $800,000 for intensive management of iconic plants and animals.

$54.6 million will improve our parks and reserves so they sustain and grow Victoria's regional visitor economies, improve the health of our ecosystems and conserve Aboriginal and historic cultural heritage. It includes:

  1. $31.8 million over four years and $1.5 million ongoing to unlock the benefits of parks for all Victorians.  Of this:
    • Parks Victoria will receive $23.7 million in output funding over four years to strengthen frontline service delivery, as well as $8.1 million in asset funding to improve business and asset management systems and enhance communication and education programs to:
      • ensure safe and equitable community access to parks and the benefits they provide;
      • sustain and grow regional visitor economies;
      • improve ecosystem health and provision
      • of ecosystem services; and
      • conserve Aboriginal and historic cultural heritage; and ensure Traditional Owners are meaningfully engaged in the management of Country
  2. $22.8 million over two years to enhance Victoria's liveability through improvements to the parks and reserves estate, specifically:
    • $20.5 million provided for the delivery of three new parks in Cranbourne, Werribee and Kororoit Creek.
    • $2.3 million provided to protect the Anglesea Heath.

Our youngest Victorians will also benefit from the 2017-18 Budget, with $5.8 million over two years to continue the ‘Kids Free’ policy for zoos and $4.4 million over two years to continue and expand the ResourceSmart Schools program to assist schools to embed sustainability in everything they do.

$7.2 million over two years to improve the management of Victoria’s marine and coastal environments.

This funding provides:

  • $2 million to continue grants to coastal Crown land managers to address risks to public safety on coastal land;
  • $2 million to enable volunteer involvement, including boosting the Coastcare program and its Summer by the Sea and community grants components;
  • $1.8 million for asset maintenance of critical coastal protection assets, such as beaches, groynes and seawalls;
  • $1.1 million for additional measures that will support marine and coastal health; and
  • $300,000 for greater traditional owner involvement in planning and management.

200 direct jobs (50 per year) and 1600 indirect jobs (400 per year).are expected to be created from the $65.5 million for on ground biodiversity actions.

Up to 60 full time positions will be created from the Parks Victoria funding.

5.5 full time positions will be created from the $7.2 million marine and coastal funding.

Keep up to date on key environment initiatives at www.environment.vic.gov.au

As grant programs open, information will be available at www.delwp.vic.gov.au/grants

Budget 2017-18 - Fact Sheet - Environment  (PDF, 219.4 KB)
Budget 2017-18 - Fact Sheet - Environment (DOCX, 360.1 KB)

This funding builds on 2016-17 Budget of $54 million over four years for initiatives that deliver on-ground action to improve our environment including:

  • support for on-ground action and projects by community groups and a   boost to the Victorian Landcare Program in its 30th year;
  • weed and pest control in priority areas including on public land and   in peri-urban areas;
  • working with Trust for Nature to protect and rehabilitate private land

The 2016-17 Budget also provided $20 million over four years in capital funding for Parks Victoria to undertake works to renew critical infrastructure and meet visitor needs in Victoria’s parks.

In addition to the funding provided in the 2016-17 Budget, $15 million was provided to help Parks Victoria to manage critical risks in their facilities and services and support routine operating costs.

Waste and Resource Recovery

$30.4 million over four years is allocated  from the Sustainability Fund to implement Victoria’s waste and resource recovery planning framework.  

This initiative will increase the recovery rate for priority materials and reduce the amount of waste being landfilled, through programs and funding to support local councils to improve waste transfer stations and introduce new collection and transport measures.

There will be more support for schools, businesses, community groups and local government to reduce litter and more investment in waste to energy and resource recovery infrastructure across Victoria.

It will deliver jobs and improved liveability for Victorians through investment in resource recovery infrastructure, and supporting the Victorian Government’s election commitment to ban e-waste from landfill.

  • $15 million to support implementation of the government’s election commitment to ban e‑waste from landfill, assisting councils with collection infrastructure and processes
  • $7.6 million for the resource recovery infrastructure fund, boosting its grants program, bettering our ability to deal with waste
  • $4.5 million for education and litter programs
  • $2.5 million to develop markets for materials and energy recovered from waste
  • $500,000 for waste to energy policy development
  • $280,000 to improve the quality of the waste data program

Additionally, $620,000 from the 2017/18 Budget will support the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group to recover waste from landfill to reduce methane emissions.

This funding is expected to create 490 new jobs over four years in waste and resource recovery and 115 new construction jobs

For more information on the Sustainability Fund, visit environment.vic.gov.au

Litter programs and the resource recovery infrastructure fund process will be rolled out progressively in 2017 and 2018.  Visit sustainability.vic.gov.au

Budget 2017-18 - Fact Sheet - WasteResourceRecover (PDF, 285.9 KB)
Budget 2017-18 - Fact Sheet - WasteResourceRecover (DOCX, 230.0 KB)

This budget also builds on the $21 million for waste and resource recovery from the 2016-17 Victorian Budget and the $2 million to leverage private investment in developing Waste to Energy facilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate Change

$25.4 million over four years from the Sustainability Fund will help take decisive action and restore our position as a leader on climate change.

This funding includes work towards reaching our emissions reductions targets for 2020 and 2050, and laying the foundations for successful adaptation, including:

  • $3.4 million to leverage local government action to reduce emissions, with priority given to councils supporting vulnerable communities;
  • $2 million to support Government departments to cut their office-based emissions by 30 per cent below 2015 levels – a key commitment made as part of our TAKE2 climate change pledge program. This includes developing tools for government to identify the best opportunities to reduce emissions;
  • $1.6 million to establish sector-based adaptation planning including pilot Adaptation Action Plans (AAPs). Pilot AAPs will address priority adaptation needs in the health and human services, agriculture and water sectors, and prepare core systems for mandatory AAPs from 2020 under the new Climate Change Act 2017;
  • $620,000 to support the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group to recover waste from landfill to reduce methane emissions;
  • $1.3 million to develop a detailed picture of projected climate change in Victoria through dynamically downscaled climate change projections. These datasets will help government and the community understand potential impacts of climate change on a scale of 5km2, and to factor this information into decision-making;
  • $1.1 million to improve adaptation in land-use planning, including through the implementation of actions in Plan Melbourne;
  • $800,000 to support strong national and international partnerships and to engage with world leading experts to exchange knowledge and expertise;
  • $800,000 to draw together the right data and evidence to determine Victoria’s interim targets for 2021-25 and 2026-30, on the pathway to net zero emissions by 2050;
  • $700,000 to develop Victoria’s greenhouse gas inventory from 2018, benchmarking our success in reducing emissions;
  • $350,000 to undertake state-wide and regional vulnerability assessments, to better understand the risks of climate change to our communities and the economy; and
  • $120,000 to develop a best-practice monitoring and evaluation framework for adaptation, to track our progress adapting to climate change
  • $9.3 million to support regions to manage the risks and impacts of climate change through adaptation planning. This will build on current adaptation projects and investment in the regions, and connect to the work of the newly established Regional Partnerships;
  • $2 million for a Coastal Hazard Assessment for Port Phillip Bay to build a detailed understanding of the potential impacts of flooding and erosion on the bay, to be delivered in partnership with bayside councils;
  • $700,000 for climate change impact projections for the Victorian coastline so we can better understand the potential impacts of sea level rise and storm surges; and
  • $500,000 to communicate up-to-date climate science and impacts.

Additionally, $4.4 million over two years will continue and expand the ResourceSmart Schools program to assist schools to embed sustainability in everything they do.

Supporting our regional communities and industries to adapt will help to minimise economic impacts of climate change. 

Scaling up successful initiatives also has the potential to create jobs in new and emerging industries.

Keep up to date on Government’s climate change action at climatechange.vic.gov.au

For Victoria to achieve its net zero emissions target by 2050, we all need to play our part.

Individuals, businesses and community can ‘pledge’ to act now to keep the temperature rise to under two degrees by visiting take2.vic.gov.au.

Budget 2017-18 - Fact Sheet - Climate Change (PDF, 392.8 KB)
Budget 2017-18 - Fact Sheet - Climate Change (DOCX, 2.1 MB)

This budget funding builds on the momentum of the 2016-17 State Budget including:

  • $15 million in capital funding over four years to replace and upgrade   critical coastal protection assets.
  • $4 million to   monitor coastal flooding, erosion and land stability and undertake work to   support State of the Bay reporting.
  • $2.4 million for protection of Priority Victorian Beaches and Foreshores   program.
  • $5.56 million for the Virtual Centre for Climate Change Innovation. This is   based on the successful European Union Climate Knowledge Innovation Community   (Climate KIC) model.
  • $2 million to leverage private investment in developing Waste to Energy facilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • $500,000 over four   years to develop an integrated assessment framework for the built environment   that addresses Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) and climate   change.
  • $600,000 over   two years to undertake modelling and feasibility studies on the costs and   impacts of climate change on the health and human services system.

Over $2 million in climate change commitments from the 2015-16 State Budget have been rolled out including:

  • $1.15 million in grants awarded to 39   regional and metropolitan councils for 45 climate change projects to support   vulnerable members of their communities, and promote innovation and   opportunities in climate change adaptation and mitigation.
  • $450,000 to boost links between   Victorian and international academics and entrepreneurs including scholarships   for postgraduate students to turn low carbon research and innovations into   business ideas  and climate change   research scholarships at leading Victorian institutions.

Environment Protection Authority (EPA Vic)

$162.5 million over five years will deliver landmark reforms in environment protection that will protect Victoria’s environment, liveability and the health of Victorians.

The investment implements the Victorian Government’s response to the Independent Inquiry into the EPA - the first comprehensive examination of the agency since 1971.

It will provide Victoria with a strong, modern and mature environmental regulator. For businesses, it will deliver efficient, consistent and risk-based regulation that is vital to ensure Victoria is an attractive place for investment.

For the community, it will deliver an EPA that proactively and effectively protects environmental values and their health and wellbeing.

  • $65.6 million for EPA's expanded functions and expertise including in environmental public health, scientific leadership, land use planning, mining and emergency management;
  • $49.5 million to implement new legislation, regulations and standards. It will also provide guidance and support for the community and industry;
  • $24.4 million to provide more financial certainty for the regulator to meet its obligations in 2016-17 and 2017-18;
  • $19.3 million for data and information provision to improve public access to information;
  • $3.1 million for reforms to EPA governance
    to ensure its independence and accountability; and
  • $500,000 to support strategic coordination of environmental protection across government.

This means more officers on the ground; more investigations and prosecutions; and expert advice to inform government, business and community decision making and understanding of the environment we live and work in.

The appointment of Victoria's Chief Environmental Scientist, Dr Andrea Hinwood, will strengthen EPA's efforts in providing this comprehensive expert advice to the community about our environment.

It also means a pilot program of Officers for the Protection of the Local Environment that will work closely with the EPA and their local councils to respond to smaller-scale and lower risk waste and pollution complaints.

The reforms will create over 100 new roles within EPA. Around 40 per cent of the new roles will be located across EPA’s regional offices.

Forest Fire Management and Forestry

The Victorian Government has committed $309.4 million in the 2017/18 State Budget to fund 266 jobs to reduce bushfire risk, refurbish forest-based assets, and protect our forests and wildlife through better compliance and enforcement.

$205.7 million to continue an expanded program of bushfire mitigation on public land, improve forest access, egress and firefighter safety, build fire capacity and diversity

$44 million for roads, bridges and fire towers

$30.3 million to significantly boost to Victoria’s forestry and wildlife compliance operations.

$11.4 million for targeted fuel management on private land and roadsides to reduce bushfire risk

$6 million to build and refurbish forest-based assets.

$6 million for application of bushfire science and risk modelling

$4 million for landscape bushfire risk planning; and

$2 million for community-based fire management

The Government will invest $6 million in local contracts to build or refurbish facilities such carparks, toilets and BBQs, improve and join up degraded paths and bike trails, remove dumped waste and install signs.

266 new roles will help Victorian communities by reducing bushfire risk and helping to strengthen protection of forests and wildlife.

231 roles have been created to help reduce bushfire risk, including:

  • Frontline Forest and Fire Operations officers
  • Forest management (road/bridge construction, hazardous tree removal, fire tower upgrades)
  • Traineeships
  • Community-based bushfire management

Bushfire risk planning

To strengthen the protection of our forests and wildlife, 25 new roles will be created for frontline regulation and compliance officers. Six new roles to manage data and intelligence to support frontline operations, and a further four new roles will manage upgrades to recreational facilities in State forests.

Recruitment for these roles will commence in May 2017.

Information about Safer Together can be found at safertogether.vic.gov.au.

Budget 2017-18 - Fact Sheet – FFM (PDF, 249.8 KB)
Budget 2017-18 - Fact Sheet – FFM (DOCX, 1.4 MB)

The funding will help deliver the Victorian Government’s Safer Together bushfire prevention approach and additional forest regulation and compliance to better protect Victoria’s forests and wildlife.

This funding builds on:

  • The 2016-17 budget commitment of $74 million over four years and $18 million ongoing for bushfire preparedness and response; and
  • The 2015-16 budget commitment of $7 million over four years for management of safety risks posed by fire damaged trees.

Energy

The Victorian Budget 2017/18 invests $122 million to help modernise our energy system and maintain an affordable energy market for all Victorians. 

We know our energy sector is undergoing a significant transformation, so it is important to ensure we move toward a modern, renewable, affordable and reliable energy system.

  • $38.6 million for renewable energy purchasing and $9.5 million to power Victoria’s tram fleet with solar energy;
  • $29.4 million for initiatives that promote and achieve energy efficiency, including: 
    • The Home Energy Assist package to upgrade the energy efficiency of homes of over 3,300 Victorians, helping them manage energy bills;
    • improvements to poorly performing residential and commercial buildings;
    • broadening the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target scheme;
    • new financing models for investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects; and
      upgrades to the Victorian Energy Compare website.
  • $15.8 million for smart systems and microgrid projects;
  • $5 million for an energy storage initiative to develop utility-scale energy storage projects;
  • $12.9 million to support reforms and advocacy to the National Energy Market to ensure Victorian consumer interests are represented, particularly as the energy sector undergoes major transformation; and
  • $10.8 million to minimise energy costs for consumers, including the ongoing delivery of the Victorian Energy Compare tool and an associated consumer awareness campaign, a concept study to deliver an energy data hub to significantly increase consumer and third-party access to energy data and a pilot energy brokerage service to support hardship and culturally diverse consumers.

Our solar trams initiative alone will deliver $150 million in new capital investment and 300 new jobs in regional Victoria. 

Our energy efficiency initiatives will support 432 new jobs in energy efficiency services and other Victorian industries.

More broadly, realising our commitment to increase renewable energy generation to 25 per cent by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025, we will deliver up to $9 billion in new capital expenditure and deliver 11,000 energy sector jobs.

www.delwp.vic.gov.au/energy outlines the latest policies, consultations and openings for tender processes.

Boosting Business Productivity delivers grants to industry to help them cut energy costs and reduce greenhouse emissions. The program is open for businesses throughout the year.
Visit: sustainability.vic.gov.au or
phone 1300 363 744

Residential Efficiency Scorecard will enable you to obtain a star rating for your home. As more accredited assessors come on board throughout 2017, availability of assessments will increase.  Register interest at:
victorianenergysaver.vic.gov.au/residential-efficiency-scorecard

Help for cutting power bills:
For deals and incentives for energy efficient products and appliances for home and business visit:
victorianenergysaver.vic.gov.au/more-ways-to-save/energy-saver-incentive

Compare energy deals independently at Victorian Energy Compare  www.vic.gov.au/victorianenergycompare

Home Energy Assist: Affordable Upgrades will be rolled out progressively in 2017-18.  
Register for updates

Register your interest in the Latrobe Valley Home Energy Upgrades Program at www.lva.vic.gov.au

Budget 2017-18 - Fact Sheet - Energy (PDF, 229.2 KB)
Budget 2017-18 - Fact Sheet - Energy (DOCX, 725.3 KB)

This budget builds on the $25 million already announced to support large-scale energy storage initiatives across Victoria, creating jobs, protecting affordability and maintaining the reliability of our energy grid.  ($5 million of this $25 million is listed in the 2017-18 Budget, on the previous page).

The $900,000 Pilot Community Power Hubs program, announced earlier this year, will assist Ballarat, Bendigo and the Latrobe Valley communities access the skills and expertise to develop and deliver community-based renewable energy projects. Sustainability Victoria will deliver the pilot program.

Through the $5 million Latrobe Valley Home Energy Upgrades program we will deliver (at no cost to households) home energy assessment, energy efficiency upgrades and/or installation of rooftop photovoltaic systems to up to 1,000 vulnerable households in the Latrobe City, Wellington and Baw Baw local government areas during 2017 and 2018.

This year’s budget also builds on the $24.2 million across three years for Saving Energy, Growing Jobs and $12 million for Driving Growth in Renewable Energy from the 2016-17 Budget and the $20 million New Energy Jobs Fund, announced as part of the 2015-16 Budget.