News | 10th May, 2011

Govt calls off talks on Hazelwood closure

Tuesday, 10 May 2011
ABC News

The Coalition Government has dumped a Labor plan to close down two units at the Hazelwood power station.

Hazelwood is one of the dirtiest power stations in Australia and produces 23 per cent of Victoria's energy needs.

The former Labor government has promised to pay for the early closure of two units at the power station.

But Energy Minister Michael O'Brien says the plan was "uncosted and unfunded."

He says families are already feeling the impact of the former government's "failed" renewable energy and smart meter policies through higher electricity costs.

"With the uncertainty and cost pressures from the Gillard Government's proposed carbon tax, Victorians cannot be expected to also fund hundreds of millions of dollars to bring forward the retirement of two units at Hazelwood," he said in a statement.

"Nor did the former Labor government appropriate $1 to fund its proposal: this was Labor's Hazelwood hoax."

And Mr O'Brien says there was no plan to replace the electricity generated by Hazelwood.

"Without an operational replacement for the electricity generation from these units, the power would likely have come from electricity imported from other states and generated from black coal, a poor outcome for the environment," he said.

Regressive step

Kelly O'Shanassy, from Environment Victoria says the Coalition is not fair dinkum when they say it will impact on Victoria's energy security.

"It simply won't," she said.

"We have the projects ready to go. It's really about is the Coalition ready to invest in those or not? And it appears at this stage they are not," she said.

She says the Coalition does not have a strong plan for the environment and climate change.

"Now it seems they are taking more regressive action," she said.

"It is time they start realising that a healthy economy relies on a healthy environment."