Submission To The Legislative Assembly Environment And Planning Committee

Written by:
26 April 2024
Submission To The Legislative Assembly Environment And Planning Committee - Featured image

Net Zero is the Top Food Security Threat

The purpose of this letter is to share research conducted by the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) with the Legislative Assembly Environment and Planning Committee as it conducts its inquiryinto securing the Victorian food supply.

The framing of the inquiry paints a misleading picture of an irreconcilable dualism between the provision of adequate and affordable housing for Victorian families in the outer suburbs—or as it is labelled in the terms of reference, ‘urban sprawl’—and food security.

The inquiry’s terms of reference ignore the land utilisation of massive wind and solar infrastructure, and the high-voltage transmission lines, which will need to be constructed across prime Victorian farmland to achieve the government’s emissions reduction targets. In doing so, the inquiry turns a blind eye to the single biggest threat to Victoria’s food security, namely emission reduction and renewable transition mandates.

The Victorian government has a policy of reducing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by up to 33 per cent by 2025, 50 per cent by 2030, and to net zero by 2045. The main intervention to meet these mandates is a 95 per cent renewable energy target by the year 2035.

Meeting these mandates will sacrifice a vast swathe of prime agricultural land. A report by the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Offshore Wind: Policy Directions Paper, published in March 2022, estimated that approximately 70 per cent of Victoria’s farmland would need to be carpeted with wind turbines, solar panels, and dangerous transmission lines and towers.

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