Media Releases | 27th Jul, 2012

Game over for HRL coal-fired power station

Friday, 27 July 2012
Environment Victoria has this afternoon declared a major win in the campaign to stop a proposed new coal-fired power station from going ahead in Victoria.

The group has strongly welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement that they are withdrawing the Howard-era $100 million Commonwealth grant to HRL after the company failed to meet the conditions of the grant money for the sixth time.

The company was depending on the Federal Government grant to leverage private investment in the project, but had failed to attract financial support.

Environment Victoria Campaign’s Director Mark Wakeham said today:

“This is an extremely welcome decision by Minister Ferguson and the federal government to cancel HRL’s funding. This proposal is out-of-date, highly polluting and inconsistent with the steps we are now taking to begin cleaning up our power supply.

“This is likely to be the final nail in the coffin for the HRL proposal, and for all new coal-fired power stations across Australia.“Australians overwhelmingly want a clean energy future. It’s great news that the Federal Government has recognised this, and is taking action in the right direction.“Today’s decision is a testament to the tens of thousands of Victorians who’ve campaigned to stop HRL over many years. It shows that people power does work, and that when the community is united in their voice for clean energy we can win.”The HRL project has been the subject of a long campaign by Environment Victoria, Greenpeace, Quit Coal, Environment Defenders Office and others.

Last year Environment Victoria went to VCAT to appeal the EPA’s approval of the HRL power station. While the appeal was not successful it led to additional conditions on the HRL project that made attracting finance more difficult.

Earlier this year Environment Victoria and Greenpeace delivered to Labor MP Kelvin Thomson a petition hand-signed by 13,000 people calling for the Federal grant to be withdrawn. The campaign has been one of the most significant climate change campaigns seen in Victoria.

Mr Wakeham concluded:

“We now call on the Victorian Government to keep their word and withdraw their $50 million grant to the HRL project. It would put a halt to this polluting project and would free up funds for much needed projects such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme or large scale solar in northern Victoria.”

For further comment:

Mark Wakeham, Campaigns Director at Environment Victoria: 0439 700 501