This afternoon the Federal Energy and Resources Minister Martin Ferguson announced that the federal government is withdrawing their $100 million grant to HRL because the company has failed to meet the conditions of that money for the sixth time.
You made this happen! Our legal challenge (that you funded and supported) against the EPA’s approval of HRL resulted in conditions on the power station that made it much more difficult for the company to find financiers for this highly polluting project – one of the key conditions of the federal government grant that HRL failed to meet.
In addition to the legal challenge, tens of thousands of Australians have worked together to call on the federal government to withdraw this money for over a year. In February Environment Victoria and our friends at Greenpeace delivered to the Federal Government a petition of 13,000 hand-written signatures calling for the money to be withdrawn. Because of our campaign, Minister Ferguson announced in February that he would limit the extension of HRL’s grant money to a final six month period.
But we weren’t giving up. When HRL’s final deadline passed on 30 June our supporters pulled together immediately to call on the Minister to withdraw the funding. And today, we won!
This decision is not just a nail in the coffin for this proposal, but for all proposed new coal-fired power stations across Australia. While HRL still need to confirm that the project will not proceed, it’s very difficult to see how it will get off the ground without government support.
It marks an end to the era of business-as-usual for coal projects in this country. Now, it’s time to get on with the clean energy revolution we’ve been waiting for.
So thank you. To anyone who signed a petition, attended a rally, donated to this campaign, wrote a letter to a politician or talked to your friends about the problem with coal. Thank you for standing up for action on climate change, for clean energy and for our future. Without you, and tens of thousands more like you, we couldn’t have done this.
There are many more battles to fight, and the wins will be just as hard to come by but this outcome is a testament to the fact that people power works, and that ordinary Australians standing up for what’s right can make a difference.
Congratulations, well done, and thank you.