Media Releases | 14th Nov, 2003

People power urges wind power

Saturday, 15 November 2003

The Bracks Government would be guilty of environmental vandalism if it approves a proposal to expand a major polluting power station.

The Government must reject the proposal for a five-year expansion to Hazelwood power station in the Latrobe Valley or risk environmental destruction, said the state’s peak conservation body Environment Victoria (EV).

Hazelwood was Australia’s most greenhouse intensive polluter and an expansion to 2027 would be akin to putting 20 million cars on the road for a year, said EV global warming campaign director Darren Gladman.

“Victoria is already one of the world’s biggest greenhouse polluters per capita. An expansion to Hazelwood would pump out an extra 85 million tonnes (Mt) of greenhouse gases, which would make us a world pariah,” said Mr Gladman.

“The Bracks Government would be environmentally culpable if the expansion goes ahead.”

The call came as green groups marched to Parliament House in support of wind power, in a rally organised by the Coalition Against Coal.

Mr Gladman said wind power and other renewable energies were a vital part of the energy mix that Victoria needed to replace coal.

“The Bracks Government is to be applauded for supporting wind power. But any expansion to Hazelwood would diminish the precious gains the Government has made in reducing greenhouse pollution and threaten future successes.

“A five-year expansion would emit millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases. In contrast the plan to build about 500 wind turbines across the state would create zero additional greenhouse emissions. It is clear which is the best option.”

Mr Gladman said the worldwide threat from greenhouse emissions was serious.

“Research shows global warming translates to more bushfires, less water, more drought and a diminishing snow line – and that’s just in Australia.

“Every megawatt of wind power generated goes towards reducing our country’s greenhouse gas emissions and the risk of climate change.”

Darren Gladman will be available for comment at the rally, which runs from midday Saturday November 15 at the steps of Parliament House.