Media Releases | 21st Aug, 2012

International backing for power station closures


Tuesday, 21 August 2012

The USA’s largest, most influential environment group, the Sierra Club, has written to Martin Ferguson to tell Australia’s energy minister about US action to retire 120 dirty coal-fired power stations and to urge the Minister to deliver the government’s promised ‘contracts for closure’ program here in Australia. 

The letter says US power station closures have provided significant benefits for the health of American communities, the health of our environment, and investment in new industries and jobs for affected workers.

“It’s time for the Gillard Government to deliver on its commitment to replace Australia’s most polluting power stations,” said Mark Wakeham from Environment Victoria. 

“The electricity generators shouldn’t look this gift horse in the mouth – it is a one-off opportunity to retire these power stations that are past their use-by-date and switch to a cleaner future.” 

“Contracts for the closure of old dirty coal is an essential element of the Clean Energy Future package that must be delivered if Australia is going to move from our 1960s-style energy model to a renewable future,” said Tony Mohr from the Australian Conservation Foundation. 

“Plants like Hazelwood in Victoria and Playford in South Australia are on the way out and should have been decommissioned years ago,” said Australian Youth Climate Coalition national director Ellen Sandell. 

“Contracts for closure would give communities in the Latrobe Valley and Port Augusta certainty, so they can plan for replacement capacity and develop new clean energy jobs.” 

Today GetUp is releasing a national poll that shows more than twice as many Australians support than oppose closing ageing coal plants. 

“Coal plants like Hazelwood and Playford are 18th century fossils, harming the health of our families and our environment,” said GetUp! national director Sam McLean. 

“It’s time our leaders make good on their promise to clean up Australia’s most polluting power plants and make room for the clean renewable technologies of the future.” 

See polling results here

For comment
Mark Wakeham, Environment Victoria campaigns director, 0439 700 501.


Read the Sierra Club’s letter here >

See the polling results here >

Sign the petition to Replace Hazelwood here >