Protect Victoria: No Coal Exports | Environment Victoria

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Protect Victoria: No Coal Exports


A number of coal companies are 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 train and 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. 



In May and June last year, 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 from what we've seen of their proposals, it’s clear that the three companies who received taxpayer subsidies are all interested in coal exports.


Victoria does not currently export coal – it all gets burnt in domestic power stations. With all the climate warnings saying we need to leave coal in the ground, it certainly isn’t a good time to be digging up even more for an export industry.
The companies are signing contracts with existing Latrobe Valley mines to get a supply of coal for their proposed processing plants. But if these projects manage to get off the ground, it won’t just be coal exports. They’re going to want their own supply of coal, which means more coal mines.

The Napthine Government was 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 successfully delayed the allocation through the full term of the Baillieu/Napthine Government, but if these projects go ahead, there’ll be pressure from industry on the Andrews Government to give the green light to more coal mines.

Find out what each of the three ALDP recipients is proposing to do here.

NEW: Coal Energy Australia has now announced it wants to dredge Corner Inlet, next to Wilsons Prom, so they can export their processed coal. This project is being supported by EnergyAustralia, who are supplying the coal from their Yallourn mine.

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.  



Check out our report 'VICTORIA'S COAL WANNABES' profiling the companies seeking government grants and coal resources 

Download our coal exports brochure 

Check out our brochure 'More coal mines for the Valley?' 

Environmental Impact Briefing Paper - Westernport 

Environmental Impact Briefing Paper - Corner Inlet 

Basis of Design Report Barry Beach 2009  (Corner Inlet)

High Level Concept Study Barry Point 2009 (Corner Inlet) 

Panamax Ltd C Basis of Design Report Barry Point 2010  (Corner Inlet)

High Level concept study 90 Mile Beach 2009 

Read our report 'Undermined or overburdened? Victoria's brown coal: an economic perspective'


Check out who wants to export coal at CoalWatch projects on the agenda

Check out the details from our last big win against Exergen

Check out what happened last time the State Government allocated coal back in 2002

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 


* Source of India, US and China’s emissions > 

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