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
450 new jobs and public safety increased if candidates commit to mine rehab, new report finds
23 October 2014
450 long-lasting jobs could be created in the Latrobe Valley if...more
Environment Victoria response to Victorian Government’s Morwell mine fire ‘implementation and monitoring plan’
15 October 2014
Environment Victoria notes that the Victorian government has released...more
Hazelwood inquiry a good foundation for reform but rehabilitation work needs to be accelerated
3 September 2014
Environment Victoria welcomes the release of the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry report, and urges the government to implement the Board’s recommendations as well...more
Farmers question campaign to fence Victorian rivers
28 April 2014
A campaign to fence Victoria's 17,000km of public riverside land has been questioned by the Victorian Farmers Federation, who said fencing should not be mandatory.
As part of the '...more
Latrobe Valley brown coal plant mothballed
30 July 2014
Tom Arup, SMH
The Energy Brix brown coal power plant and briquette factory in the Latrobe Valley will be mothballed, with up 70 jobs to be made redundant as a result.
The almost 60-...more
Coal-fired power station to close in Latrobe Valley, despite $50 million federal bailout
30 July 2014
Rhiana Witson, ABC
A brown coal-fired power station and briquette factory in Victoria's Latrobe Valley will close next month, two years after receiving a $...more
Environment Victoria condemns reckless plans for coal export industry
16 June 2014
Environment Victoria has today condemned the Napthine and Abbott Government’s reckless and short-sighted decision to develop a coal export industry in Victoria.
Hazelwood inquiry reveals the real cost of coal
13 June 2014
As the third and final week of hearings comes to a close at the Hazelwood inquiry, Environment Victoria says a clear picture is emerging that coal is not the cheap source of fuel it claims to be.
The weeks of...more
GDF Suez admits rehab failures under examination from Environment Victoria
12 June 2014
GDF Suez's rehabilitation manager today admitted under cross-examination by Environment Victoria barristers at the Hazelwood Inquiry that he didn't know the status of fire preparedness...more
Government fails while Latrobe Valley slips and burns
21 May 2014
Environment Victoria has called for urgent action on the rehabilitation of coal operations across the state following serious concerns raised in an independent technical report.
The 2012/13 annual report...more
Last night the Abbott government announced that it had reached a deal with Clive Palmer to legislate its ‘direct action’ policy. So four months after the repeal of the carbon price, it looks like we’ll again have a climate policy. The question is: is it any good?
If you had a program that was reducing household energy costs, cutting greenhouse emissions and creating jobs, you’d think any government would be keen to keep it, right?
Wrong. The Napthine government announced in May 2014 that it would wind up the successful Victorian Energy...more
Our new Campaigns Director, Alex White, starts today. Here's what he has to say about why he came to Environment Victoria.
Back in 2012, I spent three months working on the Obama campaign in Boston and New Hampshire. The locals, as well as being bemused by my hard-to-understand...more
On 29 November Victorians will head to the polls to cast judgement on the Napthine Government. With just 100 days to go until polling day Environment Victoria CEO Mark Wakeham takes a looks at the hot environment issues this state election.
The Baillieu-led Coalition took office in...more
Last Friday the pot lines at Alcoa’s Point Henry aluminium smelter near Geelong were switched off. In coming months up to 800 workers will be seeking new employment. On Wednesday the owners of the Energy Brix power station and briquette factory near Morwell, built in 1949, announced that...more
- Victoria’s Coal Wannabes: A report profiling the companies seeking government grants and coal resources for Victorian brown coal projects |
- Report questions track record of coal companies seeking cash and coal |
- Independent climate umpire finds current emissions targets not credible and need to be increased |
- HRL coal grant withdrawal should be a wake-up call to abandon grants of cash and coal |
- Hazelwood fire highlights persistent problems and failures of Latrobe Valley coal mines |
- Smelter closure highlights need for Victorian clean energy jobs strategy |
- Premier Napthine dodges question of whether Hazelwood mine properly regulated |
- Jobs crisis, Hazelwood fire highlights need for Victorian clean energy jobs plan |
- Groups join forces to demand support for Latrobe Valley clean up |
- Napthine and Abbott Governments maintain quarry vision and put coal before communities |