NEWSTEAD is set to become the first town in Victoria to rely 100 per cent on renewable energy if Labor wins the state election.
Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D'Ambrosio and Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards pledged $200,000 to the Renewable Newstead project on Monday morning.
Under the project, residents would use solar panels and energy storage to power their homes and businesses by 2017.
"It will set a precedent and will be an example for other communities across regional Victoria to proceed down this path if they choose to do so," Ms Edwards said.
"Solar is a growth industry in Victoria, particularly in regional Victoria, there are many jobs to be had and with an unemployment rate hitting eight per cent in Victoria and the youth unemployment rate across this region of 22 per cent we need to start thinking about how we are going to invest in jobs of the future."
The project was made a priority in 2011 as part of the town's future plan, but had "gone off the radar" under the Coalition, Ms Edwards said.
"Under the Coalition and the last four years, the solar industry, the wind industry have both gone backwards," Ms Edwards said.
However, Liberal candidate for Bendigo West Michael Langdon said Labor was quick to forget the findings of an audit report in 2011.
"It shows there was no original business case for their renewable projects and their policies were a shambles. The report found Labor’s policies suffered from a lack of rigorous analysis and were not effective," he said.