LOWE, Melissa


Last assessment: 2022-10-11 12:38:47

Melissa Lowe is the Green light community independent standing in Hawthorn. She is an excellent first choice for action on climate and integrity in politics. Her support from Climate 200 indicates her potential to play a positive role in holding the government to account from the cross bench if the good people of Hawthorn elect her to the Victorian parliament.

My Climate Action and Environmental Protection Plan

The evidence that we are facing a catastrophic climate emergency is clear – unless we act urgently and cohesively to reduce emissions.

I have already signed my support to the Climate Emergency Declaration and will continue to work constructively with all levels of government towards achieving the following priorities:

  • Legislate an immediate end to native forest logging, bringing the end of native forest logging forward to the end of 2023, and supporting a significant investment towards reforestation and the rehabilitation of native habitats. This would have the benefit of reducing habitat destruction of vulnerable native flora and fauna species, helping to maximise the amount of carbon naturally stored in Victoria, reducing bushfire risks from the destruction of old-growth forests, and improving Melbourne’s water quality and volumes where native logging is currently being conducted in water catchment zones.
  • Seek the development of a forestry industry transition program that ensures job losses due to the cessation of native forest logging are offset by adequate new jobs in economically and environmentally sustainable timber, habitat-regeneration, eco-tourism, or other economically and environmentally sustainable roles, or that skills-based training is provided to ensure workers can transition to jobs in other non-forestry sectors.
  • Legislate a 75% reduction in Victoria’s total net emissions (based on 2005 levels) to be achieved by 2030. With net zero to be achieved by 2035.
  • Legislate an energy transition plan (with clear targets and timeframes) that ensures Victoria is powered by 100% renewable energy by 2030, ends our reliance on coal and gas and ensures our last coal plant can be closed by 2030. Ensure this energy transition plan has sufficient planned generation, storage and transmission capacity (with the right mix of technologies) to ensure ongoing reliability, paying particular regard to:
    • Infrastructure – Ensuring our electricity grid is capable of transmitting sufficient electricity from where it is generated to where it is utilised;
    • Demand – Expanding incentives for high-efficiency and demand-responsive smart appliances, such as hot water systems, pool pumps, and smart air conditioners, that help coordinate load on our infrastructure during peak times while minimising the impact on individual households and businesses;
    • Distributed Generation and Storage:
      • Utilise targeted incentives to ensure the uptake of behind-the-meter battery systems in private homes, businesses, and rental properties is sufficient;
      • Increase the uptake of rooftop solar through targeted support and incentives (both around installation and feedback tariffs, as well as skills-based training necessary to support installation and maintenance) and removal of planning red tape where existing planning laws prohibit existing homes from climate adaptation (for example, where a house is unable to install solar panels as its roof is heritage listed);
      • Removal of planning red tape where existing planning laws prohibit existing homes from climate adaptation measures (for example, where a house cannot install solar panels as its roof is heritage listed).
    • Shallow Storage – Ensure government investment in sufficient rapidly accessible storage devices (similar to that at South Australia’s Hornsdale Power Reserve), where stored power reserves can be rapidly discharged to the grid as needed;
    • Medium Storage – Ensuring we have sufficient 4-12 hour storage capacity in the grid for intra-day energy shifting capabilities to meet the daily shape of energy consumption by consumers against the diurnal solar generation pattern. This could include the use of batteries, pumped storage facilities, or other technologies;
    • Deep Storage – The identification of 24+ hour pumped storage adequate to address modelled periods of variable renewable energy (VRE) drought;
    • Redundancy – The security and reliability of Victoria’s energy infrastructure and supply have sufficient redundancies and backups to ensure we can grow reliably on green energy despite the inevitability of unfavourable events.
  • Improve standards for multi-unit dwellings, ensuring energy efficiency standards of new builds are increased to 7-stars (leading to a substantial reduction in year-on-year living costs for renters and homeowners, as well as a reduction in our state’s energy needs).
  • Ensuring that where new builds are required to have facilities for parking vehicles, they should also have facilities for charging those vehicles. This includes residential, commercial, industrial, and government buildings.
  • Increase battery storage capacity at the household, business, community, and state level, through targeted infrastructure investments and incentives.
  • Ensure a significant investment is made in the widespread rollout of non-proprietary and publicly-accessible EV infrastructure. 
  • Abolish the EV tax to remove disincentives for EV ownership.
  • Utilise stamp duty and registration fees to incentivize private motorists to purchase new electric vehicles, and disincentivize non-renewable-powered new vehicles, with a goal of ensuring 100% of all new car sales in Victoria are powered by renewable energy by 2030.
  • Accelerate the uptake of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles through a two-year renewal program covering 100% of vehicles in VicFleet to boost the second hand market. Support this through a targeted procurement program to address gaps in VicFleet’s fleet where no electric vehicles are currently offered. Fund an immediate heavy commercial vehicle trial to investigate the viability of green fire trucks in metropolitan Melbourne and beyond (such as Rosenbauer’s Plug-In Hybrid Electric Fire Truck, currently in use in the ACT). Work with emergency services and bus operators to ensure all vehicles that receive or benefit from public funding are powered by renewable energy by 2040.
  • Fund electric bike subsidies to reduce congestion in Melbourne to reduce road congestion, improve health through active transport links, and create a more sustainable, economically-strong and connected community. (Hawthorn is one of the most congested electorates in the state, and around half of all trips in the electorate are under 2.5km).
  • Fund the development of a targeted strategy for the Department of Health and Human Services (noting health care is responsible for around 7% of global carbon emissions) to identify safe and sustainable transition and carbon reduction strategies.
  • Fund the development of an expert-written and cohesive, integrated public transport strategy in line with the goals of Plan Melbourne objectives (specifically “Transition to a low-carbon city to enable Victoria to achieve its target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035”) to ensure all Melbournians are served by adequate green-powered public transport options to reduce strain on roads, minimise carbon emissions, and cement our long-term future as among the world’s most liveable cities.
  • Accelerate the transition away from gas through targeted incentives to reduce the cost of replacing gas appliances with electric and solar appliances – both reducing the health burden of asthma on our children and our health system and paving the way for renewable-powered cooking. With a full transition by 2030.
  • Kick-start our local circular economy by: 
    • Identifying gaps in our recycling chain, and supporting local industry to create new green manufacturing jobs in recycling;
    • Legislating alternatives to some of our most wasteful and environmentally-destructive materials (just as we have done before with the plastic shopping bag ban) to prevent valuable recyclables from ending up in landfill and increase the reliance on reusable items over disposable items;
    • The funding of a circular economy hub trial is akin to “Men’s Shed Libraries” where goods can be loaned, maintained, repaired, reused or redistributed among communities – creating community connection and reducing living costs.
    • The introduction of right-to-repair legislation.
  • Legislate a ban on coal and gas mining and infrastructure projects,  including (but not limited to) all fossil fuel exploration and mining projects, the laying of new gas transmission pipelines, LNG gas import facilities, oil pipelines, and oil import facilities.
  • End public subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.

Contact Melissa by email [email protected]