Environment groups today called on the Bracks Government to follow the lead set by New South Wales, and reject proposals for expanding coal fired power generation.
Today the proposed Redbank 2 power station in NSW’s Hunter Valley was rejected by NSW Infrastructure and Planning Minister, Craig Knowles. Mr Knowles said the $230 million plant was too much of an environmental concern.
“Redbank 2 would generate greenhouse emissions higher than the state average and at a higher intensity than other coal-fired stations in the Hunter Valley,” Mr Knowles told parliament.
In Victoria, the Bracks Government is considering a proposal to expand Hazelwood power station, which is Australia’s most greenhouse intensive electricity generator.
“Environment groups strongly oppose the extension of the Hazelwood coal mine,” said Darren Gladman, Director of Environment Victoria’s Global Warming Campaign. “Hazelwood is Australia’s most greenhouse intensive power station.”
International Power, the company that owns the Hazelwood power station, wants to expand its coal mine and extend the life of the power station by five years to 2027. This would increase greenhouse emissions by 80 million tonnes over a 25 year period.
“The greenhouse savings from the Bracks Government’s greenhouse policies would be totally overwhelmed by the additional 80 million tonnes of greenhouse pollution that would result from a five year extension to the life of the Hazelwood power station,” said Mr Gladman. “It would make a mockery of all the gains that have been made. Per person, Victoria is already among the world’s worst greenhouse polluters. Extending the life of our most polluting power station would be totally unacceptable.”
The Bracks’ Government’s $100 million Victorian Greenhouse Strategy aimed to reduce greenhouse pollution by between 5 and 8.3 million tonnes up to 2012, through such measures as 5-star energy efficient ratings for all new homes and development of renewable energies.
“Hazelwood is Australia’s most greenhouse intensive power station,” said Mr Gladman. “New South Wales has rejected a new black coal power station because it would generate too much greenhouse pollution. The Hazelwood power station is far more polluting than the one that the NSW Government rejected. If the Bracks Government takes the issue of global warming seriously it will follow the NSW Government’s lead by refusing the extension of Hazelwood.”