Ministers statements: solar homes program

Mr CARROLL (Minister for Industry and Employment) (12:28:36) — I rise to update the house on how the Andrews Labor government’s solar homes program will create thousands of new jobs and apprenticeships right across Victoria. My family, like many thousands at the time during the 1990s, felt the full impact of the Kennett government’s privatisation. My dad, as an electrician and electrical inspector, had his favourite job at the then State Electricity Commission of Victoria — three kids at school, he was the breadwinner but he lost that job. He then went on to work at Powercor and lost that job as well.

Mr Watt — On a point of order, Speaker, the minister is required to tell the truth in this place. In 1992 it was a Labor government who started the privatisation of electricity. They were the ones that started the privatisation with Loy Yang B. They cannot come in here and lie to the Parliament. They cannot continue to lie to the people of Victoria and pretend that it was the Liberals that started —

The SPEAKER — Order! The member for Burwood will resume his seat. There is no point of order.

Honourable members interjecting.

The SPEAKER (12:29:47) — Order! I ask the member for Geelong to leave the chamber for the period of 1 hour. I need to be able to hear members making contributions, including points of order.

Honourable member for Geelong withdrew from chamber.

Mr CARROLL — The so‑called ‘party of family values’ loves nothing more than seeing good working people losing their jobs. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

Honourable members interjecting.

The SPEAKER — Order! The member for Euroa!

Mr Clark — On a point of order, Speaker, the minister is debating issues rather than making a ministers statement. I ask you to bring him back to compliance with sessional orders.

The SPEAKER — I uphold the point of order. I ask the minister to come back to making a statement.

Mr CARROLL — The solar homes program will actually shift the power back to the people, as the minister said. It will create jobs, it will cut power bills and it will also cut carbon emissions. They love to talk about cuts — you would think they would be supporting the program. The new jobs will be created in our solar industry, installing, servicing and repairing solar right across Victoria. But it is also very good for regional Victoria — constructing, repairing and working on those large solar plants.

Let us talk about Beon Energy solar farm in Mildura — 300 jobs with work under construction right now: labourers, trainees, electricians, electrical apprentices, with 35 disadvantaged Victorians working on that plant, thanks to the Andrews Labor government’s Jobs Victoria program, another program that would be cut tomorrow should they ever get the power. The solar homes program is a no‑brainer for jobs and a no‑brainer for a future growth industry.

Those opposite are for cuts, closures and big corporations. Any professor around Australia right now knows that solar is what we need. If a professor has got any free time, they should go and see Beon Energy in Mildura. You will not be disappointed. It is about putting renewable energy on the map.