Dear Daniel Andrews and Team,
We wholeheartedly congratulate you All for your win. Your determined progressive policies to transition our economy away from dirty and wasteful energy systems to clean and renewable power, and investment in long neglected public infrastructure and services to address deep societal inequities and injustice have proven enormously popular.
Like you, we feel immensely proud to live in one of the most pro-actively progressive states in the world. We are among many now refusing to ‘bequeath a dying planet to future generations by failing to act now’. As critical ecological and societal crisis converge, this is an incredible opportunity to demonstrate what a truly socially and ecologically sustainable transition—based on what is best and fair for All—looks like.
Logically, there is no room for socially and environmentally exploitative and extractive industries in a progressive economy. “Political donations” and “consultancies”, and the revolving door of lucrative industry appointments for government decision makers are all entirely incompatible with a healthy democracy. The ALP is as guilty as the other major parties of failing to disclose political donations. If you are sincere about ‘delivering for All Victorians’, then voters expect you to work with other principled leaders in calling for electoral funding reform to end the covert and highly corrosive influence from mining and other heavily polluting industries, as well as from banks, weapons manufacturers, gambling, junk food and pharmaceutical companies, developers, liquor and tobacco.
Just a glance around our state reveals communities that could be radically transformed to become inspiring case studies to demonstrate how to rapidly transition local economies to be more fair and sustainable. As you say that you stand for putting the interests of communities before unconscionable windfall profits for destructive and polluting industries, communities like the Latrobe Valley and Anglesea—that have been at the mercy of deadly industries for decades—deserve your government’s full attention.
As you’re likely aware, the Anglesea community has clearly and consistently called for the preservation of ALL residual habitat and for proper rehabilitation of the coal mine and plant land (including the threats from asbestos contamination and demolition of the much hated, smoke stack). The community rightly demands that the land be returned to its pre-exploitation state and that the creeping suburbanisation of the Surf Coast and it’s wonderful hinterland is stopped immediatly, as it is destroying the very thing that makes the region unique and attracts residents and visitors.
Meanwhile, Victoria’s precious wild places desperately need protecting and nurturing. Last week further serious allegations against VicForests emerged, with thousands of hectares of state forest, including gravely endangered ecosystems reportedly having been logged or earmarked for logging. To be clear, Victoria hosts ‘the world’s most carbon dense forests’, which are also gravely endangered wildlife habitat and absolutely fundamental for Victoria’s water security. Under your Government’s watch however, they continue to be destroyed for a quick buck, in the form of wood chips, building products or paper. Most people are shocked and appalled to discover that Victoria’s iconic forests are being destroyed and mismanaged by a state-owned-for-profit native logging company. As an immediate priority VicForests must be shut down and those responsible for abusing their power and the people’s trust must be brought to justice.
So, while we wholeheartedly congratulate you on your resounding win, we are also putting you on notice, as Victorians have entrusted you with a second term of government to implement a progressive agenda. You have an exceptional opportunity to turbocharge Victoria’s transition to a fair and sustainable economy. And, along with countless other caring and informed Victorians, please be assured that we will be watching your every step towards ‘delivering for all Victorians’.