News | 19th Dec, 2012

Coal allocations tender process delayed

19 December 2012

The future of the Latrobe Valley's brow coal reserves will not be known until mid next year.

The Victorian Government was expected to announce the start of the coal allocations tender process this year.

However, the Minister for Energy and Resources, Michael O'Brien, says the Government needs to find out what companies want to do with the coal first.

"No I'm not going to go into the names of the companies that have expressed interest," he said.

"This is all done on a pretty strictly commercial in confidence basis but we've been very pleased by the level of interest both from Australia and overseas in the Latrobe Valley's brown coal assets because we see, as do a number of these companies, great opportunities for economic development in the valley."

Mr O'Brien says the decision to go to a tender process will depend on the long-term economic, investment and employment benefits for the Latrobe Valley and Victoria…

..Environment Victoria's Victoria McKenzie-McHarg says digging up more of the Latrobe Valley for mining will lead to more Government handouts for mining companies.

She says the decision to delay the tender process is good for the environment and an economic report commissioned by her group proves digging up more brown coal is not financially viable.

"A number of reports have shown that none of the projects that are being put forward by coal companies at the moment are economically viable and while there are some companies jostling to try and get an allocation out of the State Government, we also know that those companies are putting their hands up for very large subsidies," she said.

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