Media Releases | 10th Jul, 2010

Hazelwood moves welcome but complete replacement necessary

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Environment Victoria has today welcomed signs the state government is looking to retire a part of Hazelwood power station.

The Age newspaper reported today that the state government is seeking federal assistance to replace one quarter of Hazelwood’s generation capacity by 2014.

Environment Victoria CEO Kelly O’Shanassy said today:

“Its good to see that the state government is actively exploring options for replacing at least some of Hazelwood, whether or not we get an emissions trading scheme. Retiring existing coal-fired generation is critical to achieving a fall in both state and national emissions.”

“We’re pleased that discussions with the federal government about replacing Hazelwood are taking place. Hazelwood currently produces 3 percent of national emissions and its complete replacement would be a nationally significant move. Coal-fired generation has been rising around the country over the past decade. Victoria could break that trend and begin making the shift to clean energy that we so urgently need.”

Environment Victoria released research in May which showed that the entire Hazelwood power station could be replaced as early as the end of 2012.

“Given that we’re about to enter a federal election campaign with the federal ALP sorely lacking climate policy credentials, we think that the state government should be setting its sights higher and looking to replace all of Hazelwood’s generation in the next two or three years. Allowing three quarters of Hazelwood to keep polluting indefinitely is unacceptable.”

“The power station’s owners are clearly willing to negotiate an early closure, and from our discussions with communities in the Latrobe Valley there is widespread expectation that Hazelwood will be replaced in coming years. The State and Federal Government should seize the opportunity and secure Hazelwood’s complete replacement.”

“In today’s story the state government appears to be favouring an expansion of Mortlake gas-fired power station as the primary means of replacing Hazelwood. In doing this there would be a risk that we will not see any of Hazelwood’s replacements built in the Latrobe Valley. To address this the state and federal government’s should look at bringing on-line new clean energy projects in the Latrobe Valley to provide a complete replacement for Hazelwood and new jobs and industries for the Latrobe Valley.”

For further information or comment:

Kelly O’Shanassy Environment Victoria CEO 0421 054 402
Louise Mattheisson Media Officer 0417 017 844