It’s a pretty bad first move for our new Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who only yesterday assured the community that her government would take climate change seriously. Yet there they were today ready to sign up for millions of tonnes of greenhouse pollution, increasing coal dependence in the developing world, and continued reliance on polluting coal in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.
Brown coal is the dirtiest form of energy available. The company is pretending that their product will be clean because they intend to dry the coal before exporting it, meaning that it will still be as polluting as black coal!!! Coal simply isn’t clean, just like cigarettes simply aren’t healthy.
Along with a host of other green groups, we hastily pulled together a rally out the front of the signing at the Langham Hotel on Southbank. With really short notice and in the pouring rain we pulled together nearly 50 people for a vocal action. Resources Minister Simon Crean certainly got a rousing welcome, and we made it clear to the awaiting media that this was the first key test for our new PM on climate.
We’re calling on Prime Minister Gillard to step up and take control of climate policy by withdrawing the federal government’s support for a brown coal export industry in Victoria. And with the strong support from the media we’ve received thus far, coupled with a great short-notice turnout from the community, we hope she’ll be listening… after all, we know what happened to the last four leaders who failed to deliver on climate change.