Community groups from across Australia are taking part in a National Day of Action today to pressure Prime Minister Julia Gillard to replace Australia’s dirtiest power station, Hazelwood in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley with clean energy by 2012.
At least 20 events are planned in Victoria, NSW, WA, NT and Tasmania, with local groups holding public meetings, meeting with their MPs, baking ‘Hazelwood’ cakes, doorknocking their neighbourhood and more to draw attention to the damage Hazelwood is doing to our climate.
One of the most colourful actions will be held in Ashburton, Melbourne where a five metre long cigar-smoking dinosaur named Hazel, carried by local children, will be prowling the streets.
Ashburton mother and spokesperson for Families for a Safe Climate, Claire Ekins said the dinosaur is modelled on a Chinese dragon, with its scales forming a petition signed by hundreds of local residents.
“We want the Prime Minister and our local representatives to see what a relic Hazelwood has become. It really is a dinosaur from another era that needs to become extinct,’ said Ms Ekins.
Kelly O’Shanassy, CEO of Environment Victoria, joint organisers of the National Day of Action said that the day provided an opportunity for ordinary people to express their frustration at political backflips on climate change.
“The community wants action in this next term of government to make sure that greenhouse pollution is going down, and that we’re preparing for a clean energy future.
“Research shows Hazelwood can be replaced with clean energy by 2012, making big cuts to our pollution, and delivering more jobs than Hazelwood currently employs,’ said Ms O’Shanassy.
“As part of the Day of Action, events are happening as far apart as Perth, Port Augusta and Newton, as more people outside Victoria realise just how polluting Hazelwood is,” said Climate Action Centre spokesman Damien Lawson.
“In Victoria, community groups in Wodonga, Apollo Bay, suburban Melbourne, and Geelong are also taking part,“ he said.
Kelly O’Shanassy, Environment Victoria 0421 054 402
Claire Ekins, Families for a Safe Climate 0438 105 038
Damien Lawson, Victorian Climate Action Centre 0419 253 342