News | 11th Feb, 2011

Calls to replace Hazelwood power station after landslide fears

Friday, 11 February 2011
Prime, Traralgon

Environment Victoria says the State Government needs to replace Hazelwood power station after fears of a landslide near the coal mine.

The call comes after the Princess Highway was closed in Morwell due to landslide fears.

Campaigns Director Mark Wakeham says the Baillieu government has to set a firm timeline for the station's closure.

"This incident raises grave concerns about the safety of the Hazelwood mine and the viability of the ageing power station which is the dirtiest in the country and has repeatedly breached its pollution limits," he says.

"Right now, the primary concern is the safety of workers and residents in the vicinity of the mine, but once this crisis has passed the Government needs to establish a timeline to replace the outdated power station."

He says the risk of landslides was raised as a major issue by Environment Victoria and others in 2006.

"Serious questions must also be asked about the proposal to build a new coal-fired power station, HRL Dual Gas, less than 1km from the north wall of the mine," he says.

"The new power station would burn coal from the Hazelwood mine."

He says at last year’s state election the Coalition refused to match Labor’s commitment to begin replacing Hazelwood.

“Replacing Hazelwood is an obvious starting point for reducing the state’s emissions and modernizing our power supply,” Mr Wakeham says.