Transition to a Low Carbon Economy

Our challenge

Latrobe City is uniquely placed in the Victorian economy. With 85 percent of the state’s power generation occurring in the region, brown coal electricity generation accounts for around 20 percent of Latrobe City’s Gross Regional Product, and approximately 20 percent of all jobs are directly or indirectly tied to the electricity sector.

Carbon reduction strategies present both challenges and new opportunities for Latrobe City to diversify its economy, by attracting new industries as well as capitalising on our existing strengths, expanding existing businesses, services and skills in the region.  

Our Policy - Positioning Latrobe City for a Low Carbon Emissions Future

Council has developed a range of policies and actions  to ensure that we are ready for  a low carbon future. In 2010 Council worked collaboratively with the community and a range of experts to prepare Positioning Latrobe City for a Low Carbon Emission Future(PDF, 223KB), which was adopted by Council on 6 April 2010. 

Through this policy Latrobe City Council has identified three themes that underpin our approach:

  1. Pursuing and realising opportunities - A smooth and successful transition to a low carbon emissions future will require Latrobe City and the broader Gippsland region to continue to grow and develop existing business as well as harness new opportunities, which arise as a consequence of Government emission reduction schemes. In this policy theme, actions are identified that will allow Latrobe City Council to capture opportunities and enable business innovation and growth.
  2. Contingency planning - Contingency planning involves identifying threats along with possible outcomes and identifying measures to avoid or manage detrimental impacts. The policy actions proposed in this theme will allow Council, Governments and other stakeholders to put in place the necessary safeguards and plans to ensure that they are able to respond quickly and provide support to the community during the transition period.
  3. Working together - Latrobe City Council recognises that the scope of the adjustment task is beyond the capacity of Council acting alone. It intends to work in partnership with its community, businesses, industry, neighbouring municipalities, State and Federal Governments, and others to proactively plan for the smooth and successful transition of the Latrobe Valley region to a low carbon economy.

Councils progress and achievements since the policies adoption in 2010 were considered at an Ordinary Council Meeting on 12 May 2014.  The full Consolidated Progress and Achievements 2014 report can be found in the report back documents below:

Council is working with a range of partners across Gippsland, and with the Victorian and Australian governments, to transition the community. A variety of related links are presented below.  

Latrobe City Council's submissions to the Australian Government

Agricultural Competitiveness Green Paper submission

Following resolution at the 15 December 2014 Ordinary Meeting of Council, a submission to the federal government’s Agricultural Competitiveness Green Paper was made on 16 December 2014.

Council’s submission provides the Australian Government with an overview of the broad range of agriculture activities located in the Gippsland Region and outlines the need for Agricultural policy to support a sustainable and competitive agriculture sector. 

One of the submissions central points is to ensure our local agricultural businesses have better access to international markets so that we can grow our exports. The submission also draws attention to the need to support existing and new business, to attract research and development opportunities that can drive growth as well as ensuring education and skills training is available and affordable for our local community.

This submission complements our other recent submission’s to both the Emission Reduction Fund and Energy Green Paper’s, as Council sees integrated government policy as key to providing cohesion and certainty for our community. 

View Latrobe City Council’s Agricultural Competitiveness Green Paper Submission(PDF, 2MB).

Energy Green Paper

Following resolution at the 5 November 2014 Ordinary Meeting of Council, a submission to the federal government’s Energy Green Paper was made on 6 November 2014.

Council’s submission provides the Australian Government with an overview of Latrobe City and the important role electricity supply and distribution plays in our region.

Council’s submission supports the Australian Government’s efforts to ensure consistent energy policy with the aim to project jobs and investment, and take cost pressures off energy users. The submission encourages the balanced use of brown coal and supports low emission coal technology research and development efforts.

Click here to view Latrobe City Council’s Energy Green Paper Submission

For more information regarding the Energy White Paper, go to the Department of Industry website

Emissions Reduction Fund Green Paper

Following resolution at the 17 February 2014 Ordinary Meeting of Council, a submission to the federal government’s Emissions Reduction Fund Green Paper was made on 20 February 2014.

Council’s submission provides the Australian Government with a background of our proactive work in this area and welcomes the opportunity to engage with the government. Developing and maintaining strong relationships with government at federal and state level is vital as we plan the region’s transition to a low carbon emissions future.

Council’s submission considers the need to ensure investor confidence is maintained so that new and existing investment decisions are not adversely impacted under the government’s climate change policy. The submission encourages the balanced use of brown coal and supports low emission coal technology research and development efforts as well as carbon farming initiatives.

Click here to view Latrobe City Council’s Emission Reduction Fund Green Paper submission.

Related documents:

Federal Government updates

Establishment of the Emission Reduction Fund

Transitioning from the Carbon Farming Initiative into the Emission Reduction Fund 

On Monday 24 November 2014, an amended Carbon Farming Initiative Amendment Bill 2014 was passed by the Parliament. The Bill will take effect once proclaimed. This will establish the Emission Reduction Fund.

To find out more about transitioning from the Carbon Farming Initiative into the Emissions Reduction Fund  and other information on the Emission Reduction Fund, visit the Department of Environment website

Auction date announced for the first Emission Reduction Fund auction

The first Emission Reduction Fund (ERF) auction will open from 9:00 am (AEST) on 15 April and close at 5:00 pm (AEST) on 16 April 2015. The auction will occur through Austender as the online bidding platform.

How does it work?

The Clean Energy Regulator is responsible for administering the ERF including running the auction process.

The four steps to participating in the ERF are:

  1. Join the scheme by registering yourself and your project.
  2. Secure a contract with the Australian Government by participating in an auction.
  3. Run your project according to the method you have chosen to use. Report on your project and ensure it is audited when required.
  4. Claim Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) for the emissions reductions you have achieved and sell them.

Safe Guard Mechanism will start in 2016

The safeguard mechanism of the Emissions Reduction Fund will start in 2016 and will be designed to encourage businesses not to increase emissions above historical levels. The safeguard mechanism will apply only to the largest emitters and will work through the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting framework.

Businesses covered by the safeguard will be required to keep their emissions below a set baseline. They will be able to surrender credits to offset any emissions over the baseline. Emissions baselines will be set using data reported under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme and will be based on absolute emissions over a historical period.

To find out more about the auctions or safeguarding processes go to the Clean Energy Regulators website.

Green Army - Round 3 Now Open 

The Australian Government is providing additional opportunities for Green Army project funding for community organisations, environment groups and local councils, announcing round three now open.

Projects involve teams of 10 (up to nine Participants and one Team Supervisor) engaged for a period of 20-26 weeks to deliver a suite of activities that support environmental and heritage conservation outcomes. For more information refer to the attached guidelines(PDF, 595KB) or visit the Australian Government’s website

Applications Close:              2.00 pm AEDT, 17 March 2015

If you have a project which meets the guidelines and wish to submit an application, please visit the website  

Advanced Lignite Demonstration Program (ALDP) to be located in the Latrobe Valley

In 2012, The Commonwealth Government and the Victorian State Government sought proposals from parties interested in developing pre-commercial demonstration scale, coal upgrading processes for raw lignite.
In 2014, three advanced coal projects designed to deliver cleaner fuel, jobs and investment to the Latrobe Valley were announced, and include:

  1. Coal Energy Australia has been granted $30 million for the development of a $143 million demonstration plant producing fertiliser, oil and high value coal used in steelmaking.
  2. Ignite Energy Resources has been granted $20 million for the development of an $84.3 million pre-commercial plant producing upgraded coal products for local or export markets and synthetic oil which can be refined into fuel sources such as diesel and petrol.
  3. Shanghai Electric Australia Power & Energy Development Pty Limited (SEAPED) has been granted $25 million for the development of a $119 million demonstration plant producing briquettes and a cogeneration unit at the AGL-owned Loy Yang A Power Station in the Latrobe Valley.

For more information refer to the official media release.(PDF, 935KB)

Related Links

Related Documents