News | 11th Oct, 2012

Greens want power station compo reviewed

Thursday, 11 October 2012
Neda Vanovac, AAP

THE Australian Greens have renewed their call for the government to scrap $4.5 billion worth of carbon-tax compensation for brown-coal power generators.

Greens deputy leader Adam Bandt plans to move amendments to government legislation that scraps the floor price for Labor's emissions trading scheme and links it to the European market from mid-2015.

The draft laws are scheduled to be debated in the lower house on Wednesday.

The minor party wants the coal compensation payments reviewed by the Productivity Commission.

"Labor breached its commitment to the community when it ditched the agreement to close down coal-fired power stations like Hazelwood but continued giving out corporate coal welfare," Mr Bandt said in a statement.

Labor in early September abandoned plans to pay the dirtiest coal generators to shut down about 2000 megawatts of highly emissions-intensive generation capacity by 2020.

Green groups at the time demanded brown-coal generators forgo $4.5 billion worth of compensation payments due to be delivered over the next five years. They've already received $1 billion from Labor.

Frontier Economics has suggested brown-coal generators could be up to $1 billion richer overall under the package.

A coalition of environmental groups rallied outside parliament house on Wednesday calling on Labor to scrap the compensation.

Environment Victoria campaigns director Mark Wakeham says power stations are being excessively compensated and likely to make "windfall gains".

"In Port Augusta it appears the Playford power station is continuing to operate … just to receive compensation," he told reporters.

Tony Mohr, from the Australian Conservation Foundation, says there is no need to prop up coal-fired generators.

It's been known for more a decade they would eventually have to pay for their pollution and change how they produced power, he said.

"There's no excuse for companies that have put their heads in the sand and ignored that warning."


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