Environment Victoria has welcomed comments by Federal Energy Minister Martin Ferguson suggesting that the carbon price package would include funds to close Hazelwood Power Station, the nation’s most polluting coal-fired generator.
Environment Victoria Campaigns Director Mark Wakeham said today:
“This would be a major breakthrough in tackling climate change in Australia and could ensure that the carbon price package delivers significant emission reductions in the early years of the scheme.”
“It would also be a significant improvement over the previously proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme which offered $7.3 billion in compensation to coal-fired power stations without any guarantee of plant retirement.”
“Hazelwood is the logical power station to target with a closure fund given that it is the most inefficient power station in the country, and that Hazelwood’s owners have signalled that they are willing to consider closure.”
“There are clear alternatives to supply Victoria’s energy needs with far less greenhouse pollution.”
Minister Ferguson also flagged that Playford power station in South Australia might be considered for closure.
“Playford is a much smaller power station that is already scheduled to close in the next decade so we believe it should only be considered in addition to a plan to close Hazelwood” said Mr Wakeham.
“The environmental benefit from closing power stations like Hazelwood will be partly dependent on the time-frame for any closure process.”
“It is critical that we begin to close turbines at power stations like Hazelwood in the next 2 to 3 years so that we can achieve very large emissions reductions over the next decade.”
“We also need to see the detail on the funding available for communities like the Latrobe Valley to support workers and develop new jobs and industries. Professor Garnaut recommended that at least $1 billion of funds over 4 years should be earmarked for structural adjustment for communities like the Latrobe Valley. It will be very important that the carbon price package delivers this funding” he said.
Louise Matthiesson 0417 017 844