Against the backdrop of the current climate and energy crisis, SPÖ believes time is of the essence. As a measure against this, it has now implemented the Renewable Energy Acceleration Act. Larger PV systems can now be built without a building permit. The state can now approve very large regulations without the approval of the relevant municipality.
SPÖ stands for Climate Change and Dependency
The SPÖ advocated faster action and State Counsellor Heinrich Dorner (SPÖ) emphasized that climate change and inflation are at stake, which is exactly why the expansion of renewable energy and independence is needed. The climate report published these days paints a catastrophic picture and calls for action, as Robert Hergovic, president of the SPÖ club, noted: “Burgenland is acting with acceleration law.”
According to Hergovic, this pursues three goals: “We want to get out of gas and oil, we want to be independent of Russian gas and oligarchs and we want to become independent of prices.” The process is being accelerated, but with the participation of all important stakeholders, Hergovic emphasized. For example, communities, environmentalists and NGOs are at the table during the zoning process. Dorner further explained, “We don’t get in the way of whole farming.” The expansion of photovoltaic cells will also not prevent cultivation.
Olram: “Legislate the Silence”
Markus Olram, president of the ÖVP Club, explained that everyone would support the fact that renewable energy should be expanded. However, in his contribution he spoke of “massive legislation” and criticized the fact that the parties did not participate in the preliminary period, that there was no information and no assessment. It is “alarming” that the “sole government of SPÖ” can now determine which areas the PV systems will be built in. Olram noted that the fees levied on existing plants, in turn, create irritation for the company’s future settlements.
Criticisms of FPÖ
FPÖ Chairman Alexander Pecheneg complained that the law “encroached” on the interests of communities and citizens. He also rejected accusations of new and existing factories. Because the state parliament also decided on Thursday to extend the state tax to photovoltaic and wind power plants. According to SPÖ, the profits from electricity generation should be redistributed to Burgenlanders via a climate and social fund.
Pecheneg spoke of “completely meaningless measures in terms of economic policy” and aimed only at “yawning the empty coffers” of the country: “The families will pay for them.” Pecheneg also identified legal concerns and suggested to the Constitutional Court that the standards should be revised.
Greens lack rooftop PV systems
“Indeed, we must be addicted to the accelerated expansion of photovoltaic (PV) and wind energy,” explained the green member of the state parliament, Wolfgang Spitzmüller. He also criticized the charges against the current regulations, saying, “It’s important to have contractual security,” Spitzmüller emphasized. It is clear that outdoor PV systems cannot be dispensed with, but these should not be in the Natura 2000 areas, as planned in Güssing.
Club president Regina Petrick explained why the Greens rejected the law by saying that Burgenland needed more renewable energy plants, but no less democratic in implementation, but more.
The law was passed only by SPÖ . votes
The “urgent action” under which the law was passed was also criticized by non-partisan state GIZA Molnar, particularly as it brings constitutional changes and significant cuts. He did not pass the law, though he said he shared his climate goals. It was decided only by the votes of SPÖ.
Winkler answered the MPs’ questions
In the morning, State Counselor Daniela Winkler (SPÖ) answered questions from members of Parliament. Molnar has made the CoV pandemic a topic. Winkler, who is also responsible for education, asked under what conditions kindergartens and nurseries can operate again as they were before the pandemic. Winkler replied, in principle, that the educational part is the same as it was before the pandemic. She admits that part of the transition, that is, the transition from kindergarten to school, has suffered from the epidemic, but in groups a completely normal pedagogical process takes place.
Winkler: Unlocking Balance Corrections on Deadline
Winkler also commented on budget issues. Johannes Mizgolets, MP for ÖVP, pointed to a critical report of the State Audit Office on the opening balance sheet prepared by the state – more on this in the Court of Auditors: Overall deficiencies in the state’s financial accounting. In this report, several accounting shortcomings became known, for which Winkler is responsible. Mizgolets asked when the state parliament would expect the inaugural budget to be corrected.
It’s just a different structure, such a complex one that you have five years to make these corrections for the opening balance sheet, and that’s a requirement of the federal government, Winkler said. This period will also be used and necessary corrective actions will be taken in the next five years.
Emergency proposal by the Green Party on citizen participation
The subject of the state parliament session was also an emergency proposal by the Green Party, according to which citizens should be involved in the creation of local development concepts in the communities. Club president Regina Petrick said participation is important for the future, particularly in these important planning processes, and will ensure greater acceptance and legitimacy.
The SPÖ, ÖVP and FPÖ agreed that citizen participation was desirable, but saw no need to make it a legal requirement. Municipalities can implement it at their own risk and self-determination – in many cases this is already the case, State Councilor Heinrich Dörner (SPÖ) stressed.
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