Media Releases | 9th Feb, 2012

Labor MP calls on his party to stop coal funding by tabling 12,667 signature petition

Moree solar decision increases pressure on Minister Ferguson to pull $100 million grant to HRL

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Environment Victoria and Greenpeace will today deliver a petition to Parliament signed by 12,667 Australians, calling for the removal of a $100 million Federal grant for a proposed new coal power station. Boxes of petitions will be handed to Kelvin Thomson MP, ALP member for Wills, who will table the petition in the House of Representatives around 4.30 pm today.

The petition calls for a taxpayer-funded grant currently allocated to the proposed HRL brown coal power station in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley to be redirected toward renewable energy programs. HRL proposes to build a 600 Megawatt coal power station. If built it would produce up to 4 million tonnes of carbon pollution every year at a rate equivalent to a standard black coal power plant.

Earlier this week Minister Ferguson withdrew a grant to the Moree Solar Farm for failing to meet grant deadlines. The Moree project was given its grant just eight months ago while HRL, who were awarded their grant by the Howard Government five years ago, have still not met the preconditions for any money to start flowing. Last year the Gillard government gave HRL until the 31st of December to meet the conditions attached to their grant – and yet again, HRL has failed to deliver.

Environment Victoria Campaigns Director Mark Wakeham said

“It’s now five years since the Howard Government funded this polluting project and times have changed. We have a price on pollution, renewable energy costs are falling and the notion that the public should bankroll new coal-fired power stations is a thing of the past.

Last August geothermal projects that had failed to reach project milestones had their funding pulled by the Federal Government. This week the Moree solar project grant was withdrawn. It’s now time to withdraw taxpayer funds from HRL’s polluting and uneconomic power station.

Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner Julien Vincent said

“HRL has failed miserably to meet its grant milestones over the last five years and it no longer has any claim to this money. The Prime Minister promised Australians there would be no more dirty coal-fired power stations built in Australia. Removing HRL’s grant is the Prime Minister’s opportunity to make good on her own guarantee.”

Last year, a survey of 600 Victorians showed that 67% supported the government withdrawing HRL’s $100 million grant and redirecting those funds to support renewable energy.


For further information or comment, please contact:

Mark Wakeham, Environment Victoria Campaigns Director, 0439 700 501

Julien Vincent, Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner, 0419 179 529

Kelvin Thomson MP, 02 6277 4633


WHEN: 1.30 pm, Thursday, 9 February
WHERE: Parliament House Mural Hall, Senate side, 1
WHO: Kelvin Thomson MP
Environment Victoria Campaigns Director Mark Wakeham
Greenpeace Energy Campaigner Julien Vincent