Blog | 5th Feb, 2012

Legal action to Stop HRL resumes

I’m writing this morning from inside one of the many hearing rooms at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). We’re back in VCAT after an almost three month adjournment in our legal challenge against the EPA’s approval of a new coal-fired power station for Victoria by company HRL.

Environment Victoria, in partnership with local community group Locals Into Victoria’s Environment (LIVE) has taken this action because we believe that the approval of the proposed coal-fired power station isn’t in keeping with the requirement on the EPA to approve only ‘best practice’ proposals.

It’s very difficult to see how in this day and age a new coal-fired power station can possibly be see as best practice, when genuinely clean energy alternatives are on the table and ready to go in Victoria.

The first three weeks of the hearing were heard in late October and November of 2011. We’ve now returned for the final week of closing submissions from all parties.

Environment Victoria isn’t the only challenger in this hearing. The company behind the power station HRL are also challenging the conditions of the approval. They are arguing for the whole 600MW power station rather than 300MWs that the EPA approved. They are also arguing for environmental and health conditions to be weakened. Doctors for the Environment Australia are challenging the approval on health grounds, and an individual from Moreland Mr. Martin Shield is challenging the approval due to the impacts of climate change that will affect his interests.

It’s been a big couple weeks in our campaign to stop HRL. The final count of signatures to our petition to the federal government to withdraw their support for HRL was 12,667 – far exceeding our target of 10,000. Over 400 people attended the rally on the Steps of Parliament last week – double our expectations. Check out the pics here

And this week, while I remain here at VCAT, our Campaigns Director will be in Canberra as the petitions are formally tabled in Parliament by Mr. Kelvin Thomson, ALP MP for the seat of Wills.

Join us as we make sure that our politicians in Canberra get your message loud and clear: we want HRL defunded

We’ll keep you up to date with the latest from VCAT and Canberra. In the meantime, that’s for your support thus far, and wish us luck!


Victoria McKenzie-McHarg , Safe Climate Campaigner – 0428 480 409