Sustainability at the heart of draft infrastructure strategy

Tuesday 4 October 2016

Infrastructure Victoria has today recommended stormwater harvesting, cost-reflective energy pricing and expanding ‘green infrastructure’ as part of its draft 30-year infrastructure strategy. 

The independent authority’s draft 30-year infrastructure strategy also recommends a policy for an orderly transition away from brown coal stations to create a more sustainable future for the state.

Infrastructure Victoria Chief Executive Michel Masson said the draft strategy sought to value the environment, manage threats to water security and build resilience to shocks, including the challenges of climate change, over the next 30 years.

“Ensuring Victoria’s future is sustainable has been one of our key objectives with this strategy.”

Mr Masson said the proposed program to expand green infrastructure across the state – including urban forests, gardens, parks, highway verges and waterways – would have wide-ranging benefits.

“Our evidence indicates that more green infrastructure can encourage healthier and more active lifestyles, bring communities together, and improve air and water quality,” Mr Masson said.

“Our findings suggest tree canopies are crucial infrastructure that need to be planned for and maintained, and indeed this was an important point made during our consultation program.”

Other recommendations which seek to improve sustainability include:

  • Expanding fencing on farmland to protect waterways while not precluding fenceless farming technology
  • Removing barriers to recycling of building materials in the construction sector
  • Requiring new buildings to meet new energy efficiency standards
  • Strengthening land buffers around landfill sites
  • Partnering with the private and community sector to manage national parks
  • Creating habitat corridors to protect Victoria’s wildlife and native plants

 “We have recommended the Victorian Government develop a policy to support an orderly transition away from coal but we recognise the effect on communities in the Latrobe Valley, as well as the impact on energy prices and supply, must be carefully considered,” Mr Masson said.

The draft strategy has been released for consultation before the final 30-year infrastructure strategy is delivered to Parliament in December.

To read the draft strategy and supporting technical documents, or provide feedback, visit the consultation website. The consultation period closes on 31 October 2016.

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