Protect Victoria: No Coal Exports
The Victorian Government is currently planning the development of a major new coal export industry for Victoria. If it goes ahead it will result in billions of tonnes of new coal being allocated for digging up and burning, new coal truck routes through our towns and cities and major new coal ports at protected places like Western Port or Corner Inlet, next to Wilsons Promontory.
The full extent of their brown coal export plan is only now starting to emerge. And the've just taken the first step in the process.
In May and June, the Victorian and Federal governments jointly handed over $75 million of public money to support three new coal projects in Victoria. It’s called the Advanced Lignite Demonstration Program (ALDP), and already coal companies are lining up around the block to get their hands on it. From what we've seen of the proposals, it’s clear that the three companies who received taxpayer subsidies are all interested in coal exports.
At the same time, the Napthine Government is considering allocating another 13 billion tonnes of coal to prospective miners in the Latrobe Valley . This would be bad news for our environment, the community and the diversity of the Latrobe Valley economy. We’ve successfully delayed the allocation twice, and this time around. the government said they would make a decision on whether to proceed or not by the end of 2013. That has been and gone, but we know they’re still trying to make it happen.
Previous government allocations have promised the earth in jobs and investment but delivered nothing. And yet the Victorian Government now wants to do it all over again.
If it goes ahead, the impact on our state will be devastating.
Up to 33 billion tonnes of brown coal could be handed over to coal companies to be dug up, hauled by trucks and trains across the state, and shipped from new ports in protected marine zones to China and India where it would ultimately be burnt.
The impacts would stretch from the heart of our fertile farmland in Gippsland to protected marine zones at Corner Inlet beside Wilsons Promontory or Western Port beside Philip Island and reach into the future of all Victorians as a new coal export industry would decimate our hopes of keeping climate change within 2 degrees.
What a coal export industry for Victoria would look like
Eating away at our fertile food bowl
The coal in question is buried beneath some of Victoria’s most productive farmland. Gippsland generates 22% of Australia’s milk product from a dairy industry worth $2.1 billion a year. But this vital food bowl could be dug up for brown coal under the government’s plan, and families who’ve farmed the area for generations would be forced off their land.
Barrelling through our major cities
Brown coal would be hauled across the state, with major new train and truck routes required to get the coal cargo to port. Coal trains and trucks carrying millions of tonnes of coal a year would spew dangerous particulate pollution across towns and suburbs and back up traffic across our two biggest cities with major community impacts.
Protected marine ecosystems at risk
Coal companies have listed Western Port at Hastings, the Port of Melbourne, the Port of Geelong and even McGaurans Beach, in the middle of Ninety Mile Beach, on their list of potential port developments. Even Corner Inlet, a protected marine zone beside Wilsons Promontory could be dug up and dredged for major new coal freighters. Already the state government has handed over $2 million to port developers at Corner Inlet to begin stage one of their plans, and $110 million was allocated in the 2013-14 state budget for development at Western Port.
Blowing the carbon budget
This major coal export industry would blow our chance of limiting global warming to 2 degrees out of the water. Australia’s carbon budget would be shot, and the impacts on all Victorians would be devastating. If the Victorian Government proceeds with its reckless coal allocation plans, 33 billion tonnes of Victorian coal will have been allocated, which if burnt in conventional power stations would produce emissions equivalent to:
- 268 years' worth of Victoria’s emissions
- 59 years' worth of Australia’s annual emissions
- 20 years' worth of India’s emissions
- 6 years' worth of the US’s emissions
- 4 years' worth of China’s emissions *
And that’s just Latrobe Valley coal - It doesn’t include coal reserves being explored near Bacchus Marsh or throughout Gippsland beyond the Latrobe Valley. What happens to Victoria’s coal reserve will have a serious impact on global emissions and climate change. That’s why we need to keep it in the ground.
Please, sign this petition now and help us protect Victoria’s future by saying no to brown coal exports.
This confidential government report shows that the government's own consultants advised against further coal handouts. Read the Near Zero Emissions from Latrobe Valley Brown Coal, Final Report
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