Victorian climate and environment groups have held a media conference, ahead of the federal cabinet meeting tomorrow, calling on Prime Minister Gillard to cooperate with the Brumby Government to replace Hazelwood power station with clean energy.
It was reported on Saturday that the state government is considering a partial closure of the out‐dated coal fired power station by 2014.
“It‘s encouraging that the state government recognises the need to act on Hazelwood ‐ Australia’s dirtiest power station. There is a crucial opportunity this week for the Gillard Government to get on board and help fund a full buy‐out,” said Environment Victoria CEO Kelly O’Shanassy.
“Right now, Julia Gillard doesn’t have a climate policy. Replacing all of Hazelwood with clean energy will cut Australia’s emissions by almost three percent, and should be top of her climate list at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow,” said Victorian Climate Action Centre spokesperson Damien Lawson.
According to The Age the Victorian Government is considering closing two out of Hazelwood’s eight turbines. But research has shown the entire power station could be replaced with clean energy within a few years.
“Hazelwood is one of the dirtiest power stations in the developed world. Closing just one‐quarter of its capacity will still leave 12 million tonnes of pollution pouring into Victoria’s skies every year from this one power station alone,” said Friends of the Earth spokesperson Cam Walker.
Gathered on the steps of Victorian Parliament, the groups said they would be stepping up their campaign during the federal election.
“For months now we’ve been getting the Hazelwood message out to communities through doorknocking, letter boxing, bill boards and community meetings across key electorates. We are going to step up our campaign until we get an outcome, because we know replacing Hazelwood has strong public support,” said Mr Lawson.
“This Saturday will see a national day of action on replacing Hazelwood with 15 events in three states,” said MS O’Shanassy.
“Then on the 15th August many hundreds of volunteers will get out and walk the streets of the Deakin, Corangamite, Melbourne and LaTrobe electorates to deliver Hazelwood campaign leaflets to voters in these key marginal seats,” she said.
Kelly O’Shanassy, Environment Victoria 0421 054 402
Damien Lawson, Climate Action Centre 0419 253 342
Cam Walker, Friends of the Earth 0419 338 047
Louise Matthiesson, media assistance 0417 017 844