Tag Archives: replace hazelwood

Rally to replace ALL of Hazelwood

Join us to put the heat on our politicians at this state election to Replace ALL of Hazelwood.
When: Saturday, 6 November 2010 @ 1pm
Where: State Library, cnr Swanston and Latrobe Streets, Melbourne

We’ve written letters, letterboxed our streets, door-knocked our neighbourhoods, held community meetings and met with our MPs to get them to act on Hazelwood. But now, in the lead up to Victoria’s state election, we’ve got to take the campaign up a notch.
So join us on Saturday, 6 November to make sure our politicians get the message – that Victorians want a commitment from all parties before the election to Replace ALL of Hazelwood power station.
We can repower Victoria with 100% renewable energy. John Brumby is currently offering to replace 25% of Hazelwood with new coal. He tries to spin his way out of trouble by saying Hazelwood will be closed down entirely while not giving a date. Everything will be closed down eventually! This is not good enough.
We need to see you, your family and friends, your workmates, neighbours, school teachers and even your local green grocer there on 6 November. Because we all want a safe climate future. And real action to replace Hazelwood is just the beginning.

Replace ALL of Hazelwood – Yarra Council takes a stand

This week Yarra City Council took a stand for sensible action on the climate crisis, passing (six votes to two) a motion calling for Hazelwood power station to be replaced with renewable energy within the next term of the Victorian parliament. The motion also called for the scrapping of the proposed HRL Dual-gas coal-fired power station, which the State Government is currently supporting. See below for the full text of the motion and background information.

Yarra Climate Action Now worked with Socialist Party councillor Steve Jolly on developing the motion, which was subsequently strengthened by Greens councillor Sam Gaylard. It was supported by the Greens, Socialist Party and independent councillors Fristacky and Smedley.  Two Labor Party councillors voted against the motion without giving any good reason for doing so, while Yarra Mayor, Jane Garrett, also a Labor Party member, was mysteriously absent from the vote.

YCAN is pleased that Yarra City Council has stood up for its residents and urged the other levels of government to urgently reduce Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions. We congratulate the councillors that passed this motion. We would also like to express our anger and frustration with the Labor councillors who voted and argued against it. At a time when the Brumby Government is desperately trying to create some green credentials, this vote has shown that Labor is still deep in the pocket of the coal industry.

In other news, at the same council meeting, the YCAN Local Action Group had yet another win, presenting a submission to Council on the Carbon Neutral Action Plan, which received commendation from the councillors and some points of which were acted upon immediately.

Full text of motion:
12.1 Replacement of Hazelwood Power Station

Moved:  Councillor Jolly                           Seconded:  Councillor Clarke

1.         That Council:

(a)     whilst acknowledging the State Government’s Climate Change Bill 2010, sets a target to reduce emissions by 20% below 2000 levels by 2020, and key initiatives to reach that goal, it is recognised that these targets and actions are not sufficient for Victoria to play its part in avoiding runaway climate change, and are lower than Yarra City Council’s own targets;

(b)     supports the replacing of all of Hazelwood brown coal power with renewable energy within the next term of the Victorian Parliament, and In this regard, Council suggests that the State and Federal Governments adopt plans similar to those put forward by Beyond Zero Emissions or Greenpeace that provide detailed, practical and timely implementation strategies for the transition to renewable energy;

(c)     urges the State and Federal Governments to expedite policies and funding to achieve this end;

(d)     also calls upon the State Government to reject a proposal by Dual Gas to build a new coal power station in the Latrobe Valley which proposes new gasification technology which does not even meet the average emissions intensity of power plants in the OECD; and

(e)     write to the Prime Minister, Victorian Premier, Victorian and Federal Energy Ministers, and the Victorian and Federal Opposition Leaders and local members to advise its position.



Hazelwood Power Station is responsible for almost 15% of Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions and 3% of Australia’s. It consumes 27 billion litres of drinking water per year – enough to supply Melbourne’s water needs for a month. It takes just four days for Hazelwood to cancel out the entire year’s worth of emissions saved by Victorians though the 5-star energy efficient homes program. That’s 650,000 black balloons every minute. Hazelwood is Australia’s most polluting power station and one of the most polluting in the industrialised world.

Hazelwood Power Station was due to be closed in 2009. However, after privatisation in 1996, in 2005 the State Government extended its coal allocation out into the 2030s.

The climate science is clear that there is already too much carbon in the atmosphere to prevent runaway warming. We urgently need to stop emitting carbon and remove it from the atmosphere.

There are renewable energy alternatives to coal-burning that are commercially available now. Wind and baseload solar thermal power can replace coal, and Victoria has these resources in abundance. The work of the University of Melbourne Energy Institute and Beyond Zero Emissions clearly shows that Hazelwood can be replaced with a mix of these technologies within a few years. Basing the manufacturing of these renewable energy components in the Latrobe Valley can ensure that workers in coal-burning areas can transition to other quality jobs.

Victorian greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise alarmingly. Replacing Hazelwood with renewable energy is the first step in the necessary shift to zero emissions technologies that will ensure Victoria’s energy security and productivity.

Switch Off Hazelwood, Switch on Renewables rally

Sunday 10 October, 11am-4pm at Hazelwood Power Station.

On 10/10/10, the International Day of Climate Action, join the peaceful community protest for renewable energy.

We demand:

  • The urgent decommissioning of Hazelwood Power Station.
  • Replacing its capacity with renewable energy and energy efficiency measures.
  • A just transition for coal workers through the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency manufacturing facilities in the Latrobe Valley.

To make it a success, we need YOU to help create Victoria’s “first” solar thermal power station – we’ll provide the mirrors, you help create the solar array, click here to find out how!

  • Hear from a range of inspiring speakers, including Mark Ogge from Beyond Zero Emissions, Deborah Hart from LIVE, and Rod Quantock as MC
  • Live music & food
  • Kids activities
  • Join the installation & opening ceremony of Australia’s first large scale baseload solar power plant (come & hold a mirror)

Location: Hazelwood power station – meet at cnr. of Brodribb & Nadenbouschs Rds

Transport: 8:30am train from Southern Cross to Morwell & we’ll provide a shuttle bus

See http://www.switchoffhazelwood.org/ for further information.

A new coal plant for Victoria?

According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the planet has just come through the warmest decade, the warmest 12 months, the warmest six months, and the warmest April, May, and June on record.

Despite this, and despite releasing a white paper with a 20% emissions reduction target (YCAN will be analysing the white paper in more detail after the Federal Election) John Brumby’s Government is still supporting a new coal-fired power station to be built in the Latrobe Valley.

Despite the spin (the company that wants to build the plant, HRL, says that it is clean technology, although it would have the same emissions as a black coal power station) this new power station would increase Victoria’s emissions by 3%, thereby cancelling out the State Government’s policy of closing 25% of Hazelwood Power Station.

Effectively, instead of replacing one quarter of Hazelwood with renewable energy, Brumby’s policy is to replace brown coal with……more coal.

The 600MW HRL plant will receive $150 million of taxpayer money to subsidise its construction if it is to go ahead. It would have 36% less emissions than a conventional brown coal power station, but that is still infinitely more than the zero emissions from baseload solar thermal and wind power – both of which are commercially available now. We would prefer if our money went towards those technologies.

A solar thermal power tower. These are being constructed in the USA and Spain. With heat storage they can replace baseload electricity from coal.

HRL is now working on a plan to submit to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approval. If it can slide under the extremely lax emissions standard of 0.8 tonnes of carbon per megawatt hour of energy produced (average globally for rich nations is 0.45, wind and solar are zero), then it is presumed it will get a tick of approval, unless we can stop it politically.

The message just doesn’t seem to be getting through to the Labor Party. We have to urgently transition out of coal. Building new coal-fired power plants is insanity. We can go to 100% renewable energy if we wanted to.

If John Brumby and his inner-city ministers that are under threat from the Greens want to be taken seriously on climate change, then this new coal plant must be stopped before the State Election in November.

Replacing 25% of Hazelwood is greenwash

Big news on the front page of The Age today, with the Brumby Government considering replacing one quarter of Hazelwood Power Station, Australia’s most polluting, with a mixture of fossil fuel gas, energy efficiency and renewable energy by 2014. Our campaign is succeeding in getting this issue on the agenda!

However, this current plan is nothing but a hollow attempt to appease the growing community concern over the support the Brumby and Gillard governments are giving to the coal industry and the increasing emissions from the Victorian coal sector, which are worsening the climate crisis. It is rumoured that one of the eight generator units at Hazelwood is broken down anyway, in which case only one unit would actually be replaced.

While the Brumby Government has finally recognised the problem, i.e. our reliance on dirty brown coal for energy, they have yet to come up with a real solution.

Allowing 75% of Hazelwood to continue to pollute indefinitely is not a solution. Replacing one polluting fossil fuel (coal), with another (gas) is also not a solution. The whole thing needs to be replaced with clean renewable energy and energy efficiency as part of a complete phased transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Hazelwood Power Station – John Brumby wants to allow 75% of this pollution to continue

This transition is possible with existing technology, and is affordable too – as long as the big polluter corporations aren’t allowed to rort taxpayers by getting massive “compensation” payouts as coal-fired power stations are replaced. We hope the Brumby and Gillard governments are able to do the right thing and spend money on compensation and training for laid-off workers, rather than wealthy shareholders, and on price support policies for renewable energy technologies.

So well done to all the people that have been writing letters, doorknocking, leafletting and spreading the word on the Replace Hazelwood campaign. We have gotten it on the political agenda in a big way! We need to keep going, making it clear that we won’t accept anything but the replacement of Hazelwood with clean, renewable energy.

Knocking the suburbs

Last weekend volunteers from Yarra Climate Action Now doorknocked over 1000 homes in Collingwood and Fitzroy for the Replace Hazelwood campaign. We gathered hundreds of signatures for our petition and spoke to people about the urgent need to replace Australia’s dirtiest coal-fired power station with clean renewable energy. We got a great response from the community.

While many first-time doorknockers were nervous at the beginning, with one hour of training and practice, over 20 people hit the streets and had a good time doing it!

First time doorknocker Phil said:

“Thanks for the chance to participate. It was a great learning experience.

“Oddly, I was pretty nervous right at the start. I was worried about how to do the opening pitch when the door was first opened. I went with my partner and watched her as she did a few houses and that helped a lot.

“Following that, and after doing about 3 pitches myself I got over my nerves and started to really get into the flow. I then found it really enjoyable, in fact it really fired me up!”

Some of the YCAN volunteers doing the doorknocking training

Our next doorknocking session is Sunday 4 July in Richmond, 1-4pm (one hour training, two hours doorknocking), meeting at Melbourne Girls College, Yarra blvd, Richmond.

We need your help! Sign up now here.

Volunteers needed – Replace Hazelwood

The campaign to Replace Hazelwood power station with renewable energy (and energy efficiency) is gathering strength. You may have seen the coverage in the media recently as well as Hazelwood’s owners’ outrageous attempt to sabotage energy efficiency programs.

Hazelwood brown coal-fired power station near Morwell is Australia’s most polluting power station. Replacing it with renewable energy and energy efficiency would reduce Victoria’s emissions by around 12% and Australia’s by 3%. If we want to reduce emissions, we must start by replacing Hazelwood.

To do this we need your help.

The state and federal Labor governments are now under pressure to act after Kevin Rudd’s backflip on climate change.

So, now is the time to get the message out in the community.


Over the next two months local community climate groups are going to be doorknocking in the key inner city electorates of Melbourne.

Door knocking is easy, fun and one of the most effective ways of getting our message into the community and having an impact on politicians.

Here is how it works. We start at 1pm and do about an hour of training, we knock on doors for less than two hours (in pairs) and then get together for a cuppa or a drink and talk about how it went.

It’s easy! Residents are friendly and usually very happy to take some information or sign the petition.

No prior experience or detailed technical knowledge about Hazelwood necessary – we will provide training and materials. Doorknocking will be done in pairs.

YCAN will be hosting two doorknocking sessions:
Saturday 19 June in Fitzroy, 1-4pm
Sunday 4 July in Richmond, 1-4pm

There is also doorknocking happening in Brunswick, Kensington, North Melbourne and Westgarth/Northcote.

So please join us on a coming Saturday or Sunday by clicking on the link below and registering to doorknock. There is also a video showing how it works below.


To find out more about doorknocking and the Hazelwood campaign go here http://www.climateactioncentre.org/replacehazelwood

A YCAN Investigation – State Government Green Jobs Package

Just under two weeks ago many of us at YCAN received a media release from Peter Batchelor, the Victorian Minister for Coal Industry Profits, trumpeting the recent Green Jobs Action Plan released in the State Budget on 4 May. As some environment groups had praised the plan, one of our members decided to investigate to see if the Brumby Government (as opposed to current form) had actually put forward a decent policy to tackle the climate crisis.

The State Budget announced several proposed water and energy efficiency measures. Most if not all of these initiatives are grouped under the heading ‘Jobs for the Future Economy – Victoria’s Action Plan for Green Jobs’. Outside the ambit of the ‘Jobs for the Future Economy’ package Peter Batchelor proudly trumpets the hosting of the World Geothermal congress in 2015. Yes that’s right a conference, in five years time.

The package allocates modest amounts to training and research but the proposed actions generally promote modest energy efficiency and water saving measures at the point of end use, the benefits of which are self-evident. These initiatives can be divided between limited term programs that last until the money runs out and a few driven by regulatory change and training programs that could be expected to have ongoing benefits. Modest but positive aspects of the package are the changes to landfill fees which seem likely to strengthen the recycling industry and the Green Door package from Planning Minister Madden which both tightens the climatic requirements of new housing and provides some training for builders relevant to the new regulatory regime. The rest however appears to be little more than pork barrelling. The total cost to government is projected to be $175 million and according to the Premier, “The program will achieve cost savings of more than $7 million per year through reduced energy and water consumption and save 130,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year”. Judging from the premier’s media release the package is projected to create ‘up to 700 (green) jobs’.

So how significant are these reductions in greenhouse gas emissions?

If we take the projected cost ($175 million) and divide it by the projected annual greenhouse gas emissions reduction (130,000 tonnes) we find the projected cost of mitigation is a staggering $1400/tonne.

If we compare the projected annual greenhouse gas emissions reduction (130,000 tonnes) to Victoria’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions (121.9 Mega tonnes) the projected reduction is about 0.1% of current total annual emissions. For Victoria to achieve its share of Kevin Rudd’s pathetic 5% emissions reduction using these measures would (by the Government’s own figures) cost $8.7 billion!

So to summarise – the major climate change policy of the Brumby Government in the latest state budget will reduce Victoria’s emissions by 0.1%!

Another example from this material is the seductively named ‘Solar Hubs’ program under which the Brumby Government proposes to allocate $5 million for the establishment of up to 10 ‘solar hubs’ around regional Victoria with grants of between $250,000 and $1 million. As these solar hubs are simply arrays of conventional domestic PV solar collectors the same as some of us have on our roofs it is not hard to do the sums. Approximately $15,000 buys about 1.6 kilowatts (kw) of generating capacity. Assuming that the government gets a good price from its suppliers perhaps $100,000 would buy 16kw of generating capacity. Scaling this up $1 million would buy 160kw and $5 million would buy 800kw of generating capacity. Allowing for 4 hours of collection this array of installations collects around 3.2Mw-hr daily. Multiply by 365 to get annual generation and we find that annual generation from this array would be around 1168 (say 1200) Mw-hr. Annual residential energy use in Victoria is around 164 Petajoules.

One petajoule = 277,778Mw-hr therefore annual domestic sector energy consumption, (164 petajoules) = 45,556,000 Mw-hr. The reduction in domestic energy demand resulting from the implementation of this program (1200Mw-hr) is miniscule. Given a projected annual rate of increase in domestic energy consumption of about 2.5% the solar hubs program would have to be multiplied by roughly 1000 to just cover the growth in energy demand! To follow this exercise in the absurd just one step further, just covering the projected annual increase in domestic (residential) energy consumption by expanding the Solar Hubs program would cost $5billion! These figures look incredible but we’ve checked several times.

The Brumby government is adopting a time-honored pre-election strategy of throwing money (as little as possible) at very carefully selected targets to give the misleading impression that they are addressing a problem that they think might impact on them electorally but which they have in reality chosen to avoid. Of course it can be argued that the primary intention of this package is the creation of environmentally responsible jobs. It is hard to judge whether $175 million spent on the creation of ‘up to’ 700 green jobs in regional Victoria is good value for money but as an exercise in emissions reduction (surely the primary measure of the ‘green-ness’ of a proposal) or as a demonstration of the government’s ability to extract best value from green dollars invested, this package is very uneven.

In any case it is hard to take any policy seriously that proposes to reduce Victoria’s emissions by 0.1%.

Replacing Hazelwood Power Station with clean energy would reduce Victoria’s emissions by around 12%. It’s time Brumby committed to this.

Replace Hazelwood campaign

What dinosaur lives in the Latrobe Valley and suffers from terrible gas?

Hazelwood brown coal power station near Morwell in the Latrobe Valley is Australia’s most polluting power station and one of the dirtiest in the developed world.

Hazelwood produces a whopping 15% of Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions, and is a major consumer of our precious and scarce water (27 billion litres per year).

It was due to be closed down in 2009, but in 2005, in a shameful decision, the State Labor Government extended its life out past 2030.

If the Australian economy is to begin the transition to zero emissions, and thereby do our bit in avoiding the worsening droughts, fires, floods and sea level rises that will come from runaway climate change, then we need to start by replacing Hazelwood with clean renewable energy by 2012.

A number of groups have begun a campaign, calling on all parties to commit to replacing Hazelwood before the Victorian State Election in November this year. We have already held rallies and started doorknocking in inner Melbourne. This is a key election test – do the candidates in your seat support replacing Hazelwood with clean energy?

We need your help to make this happen!

What can I do?

If you have any questions send us an email on yarracan@gmail.com