On the eve of the Federal Government decision that could make or break HRL, the proposed new coal-fired power station for Victoria, it’s up to us to convince the politicians that in 2012, new coal-fired power stations are a dud investment.
In 2007, the Howard Government awarded HRL a grant of $100 million. But 5 years later, HRL have failed to meet the conditions of the grant and no money has changed hands – yet. Now this funding is under review.
JOIN US at 12:30pm Wednesday 1 February at Parliament House, Spring St, Melbourne, to tell the Prime Minister and Premier:
Say NO to funding this polluting new coal-fired power station, and YES to clean renewable energy.
Speakers include Mr. Kelvin Thomson, ALP Member for Wills and Mr. Adam Bandt, Greens Member for Melbourne.
With you at the rally, MPs from across party lines supporting us, and over 12,000 of your hand written signatures on our petition, we can show the federal and state governments that HRL is a dud investment.
Together we can convince the Gillard Government to withdraw their $100 million, and put it into renewable energy instead.
But we need you to join us!
Please, make sure you’re with us on the 1st February.
There are a number of key battles being fought in Victoria right now against fossil fuel development. I have briefly outlined them below and provided links to further information. Please consider helping out in one or some of these campaigns. Allowing further development of fossil fuels considering the climate crisis we face is insanity and they cannot be allowed to go ahead.
Coal Seam Gas
Coal seam gas has been in the news quite a lot lately, with a massive groundswell of opposition to its development arising in rural QLD and NSW, where the industry has already begun extraction of gas from prime agricultural land, mostly against the wishes of the land owner. Apart from producing a highly greenhouse gas emitting fuel, coal seam gas extraction is dangerous and dirty – it pollutes groundwater, air and land in some of Australia’s most productive food growing areas. One company (Dart Energy) is even trying to drill for gas in the middle of Sydney!
Here in Victoria we don’t yet have a coal seam gas industry but there are exploration licenses covering huge areas of the state, from Gippsland out to the west. It’s only a matter of time before projects start to happen – so the industry needs to be stopped before it can do irreparable damage to our climate, air, land and water.
To find out more about coal seam gas, come along to hear Drew Hutton from Lock the Gate Alliance in QLD speak on Friday 7 October, 7.30pm, New Council Chambers at Trades Hall, cnr Lygon & Victoria Streets, Carlton. Drew is an excellent speaker not to be missed. For more information on this even click here.
Brown coal is the dirtiest of all fossil fuels and currently cannot be exported because it spontaneously combusts. However, Mantle Mining, together with their financial backers Cygnet Capital want to start a brown coal export industry in Victoria, starting with a coal mine in Bacchus Marsh and then drying the coal to stabilise it before exporting to India. The locals in Bacchus Marsh, including the affected land owners, do not want a coal mine ruining their land, and we don’t want more of our precious farmland containing the market gardens that grow our veggies ruined while a new fossil fuel industry is created.
Not only that, but India’s energy system is currently at a crossroads. If they cannot get their hands on cheap coal, then they will start the shift to renewable energy. This project is a key part of keeping alive their coal addiction.
Take Action! Email Cygnet Capital and demand that they pull their financing from this project – firstname.lastname@example.org
HRL – a new coal-fired power station in the Latrobe Valley
The HRL project has been on the cards for many years. It is a brown coal-fired power station that uses new technology to make it as polluting as a black coal-fired power station. It was approved by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) this year and both the State and Federal Governments have committed taxpayer money to the project.
However, the Federal Government has yet to release its $100 million and may yet be convinced to pull the plug. Without federal money it will not go ahead. A petition is currently being put together (hard copy signatures only). Download it from here and get signing!
Environment Victoria and Doctors for the Environment are also taking the EPA and HRL to court, questioning the legality of the environmental approval. The case will start on 24 October.
For more information see the video below and click here.
Anglesea Coal Mine
For decades now, Alcoa has operated a coal mine right near Anglesea in order to obtain coal to power its aluminium smelter. Alcoa is now looking to extend its mining lease for 50 years past the current 2016 expiry. This will mean expanding the mine. Anglesea Primary School is about 1km from the open cut coal mine, and no independent monitoring of air quality has been done to date. The Alcoa power station fed by the mine emits 1161% more particulate matter than all of Hazelwood Power Station.
The residents of Anglesea want clean air and we want Alcoa to develop renewable energy sources for its smelter. We call on the State Government not to renew Alcoa’s lease.
For more information and to sign the petition click here.
Last Friday the Victorian Environment Protection Authority (EPA) gave a works approval to a new coal-fired power station in the Latrobe Valley in Victoria. The HRL Dual-gas proposal will create millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide per year if built.
In the 2010 election campaign, Julia Gillard promised that no dirty new coal-fired power stations would ever be built in Australia. Gillard’s credibility is now on the line as the Federal Government continues to pledge $100 million of taxpayer money to the project. The emissions of the HRL plant will be around 0.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour of energy generated. This is about the same as a black coal-fired power station and double the OECD average for coal-fired power stations.
Despite the spin from HRL, this is a dirty technology using a dirty fuel that should be left in the ground.
It is great news that all four of the big Australian banks are refusing to finance this project. However, to ensure it is never built, the state and federal governments need to withdraw their funding.
The EPA’s decision was made within the legislative framework that governs it. However, the question needs to be asked, if the EPA cannot say no to a new coal-fired power station, despite the extreme urgency and severity of the climate crisis that we face, then why does it even exist?