News | 29th Jun, 2012

Future of polluting power stations remains unclear

29 June 2012

The future of two of Victoria's biggest power plants continues to hang in the balance.

The Federal Government has extended its own deadline for which of the nation's dirtiest power plants will be shut down.

Both the Hazelwood and Yallourn power stations have expressed an interest in being paid to close as part of the Government's cleaner energy policy.

Negotiations were to be finalised by the weekend but the Government says it is a complex process and more time is needed.

The Federal Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson, says the so-called "contract for closure" negotiations involve a number of complex commercial issues yet to be resolved.

"It is difficult to predict how long these outstanding issues will take to resolve but the Government intends to act as quickly as possible," Mr Ferguson said.

He said negotiations will continue and the Government will endeavour to reach an outcome in the coming months.

Environment Victoria says it is disappointed the Government has failed to meet its own deadline.

Campaign Director, Mark Wakeham says a deal to close the most polluting power stations is a key element of the carbon price package that the Federal Government has promised to deliver.

"Negotiations cannot be allowed to drag on for months," he said.

Mr Wakeham says communities including the Latrobe Valley need certainty around closure dates.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has announced a $50 million bailout package for the fuel supplier Energy Brix.

The Government says the two-year restructuring package will allow the Latrobe Valley-based corporation to maintain briquette production while regional businesses that rely on briquettes move to a cleaner fuel source.


Read Environment Victoria's press release