Media Releases | 29th Jul, 2019

Yallourn power station expected to close sooner than planned, poll finds

New polling across the Latrobe Valley has found that 70 percent of residents expect the Yallourn power station, the most polluting in Australia, will close well before its scheduled closure date of 2032.

“This research shows that the people of the Latrobe Valley are under no illusion about the future of the Yallourn power station,” said Jono La Nauze, CEO of Environment Victoria.

“Yallourn is the dirtiest power station in the country and the oldest in Victoria. It is also one of the least reliable power stations in the country. It should come as no surprise to anyone that Yallourn is unlikely to continue operating for another 13 years.

“The likelihood of a much earlier closure of Yallourn power station shows it is time to ensure that replacement energy supply is built and new industries are brought to the Latrobe Valley.”

Environment Victoria is calling on the Andrews government for continued and increased funding of the Latrobe Valley Authority, a call supported by 62% of those polled.

“While the Latrobe Valley Authority’s funding runs out mid-2020, work needs to continue because we are very likely to see Yallourn and other power stations close sooner rather than later,” said Mr La Nauze.

“We call on the Andrews government to commit to providing the Latrobe Valley Authority with the long-term funding it needs to continue its important work of bringing new work and wealth to the region.”

The Andrews government is currently considering emissions targets for 2025 and 2030.

“If Victoria is going to cut emissions quickly enough to help avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis, then heavily polluting power stations like Yallourn will need to be replaced with renewable energy as soon as possible,” said Mr La Nauze.

Key findings of the polling:

  • When do you think Yallourn is most likely to close?
    • 38% believe it will close by 2025
    • 32% believe it will close between 2026 and 2031 (making a total of 70% believing Yallourn will close before the currently scheduled closure date of 2032)
    • 30% believe it will close in or after 2032
  • Would you support Yallourn closing by 2025 if workers are supported, new industries are brought to the Latrobe Valley and alternative energy supply is built?
    • 42% support the closure by 2025 (including 62% of people living in Moe/Newborough, the closest town to the power station)
    • 38% oppose
    • 20% unsure
  • Do you think the state government should continue to fund the work of the Latrobe Valley Authority?
    • 62% yes (including 74% of people living in Morwell, the nearest town to the former Hazelwood power station, the closure of which was the trigger for establishing the LVA)
    • 20% no
    • 18% unsure

The polling comes after revelations that Yallourn’s owner EnergyAustralia has spoken with staff about the power station’s future and the potential of an early closure, reported here.

Jono La Nauze, Environment Victoria CEO

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