We welcome this Inquiry’s efforts to understand the impacts of power station closures in the Latrobe Valley and to assess the effectiveness of the Latrobe Valley Authority. It is an inquiry into a significant socio-economic challenge and a critical issue that needs to be addressed by public policy.
We want the transition to zero emissions and to sustainable societies to bring prosperity and opportunities, and how we get there matters — not just when we get there.
In addition to our broader points throughout this submission on how we think agencies should approach transition planning, we make four specific recommendations that we hope the Inquiry will endorse:
- The state government should work with AGL and Alinta to establish a narrower window of more realistic closure timeframes, informed by both market dynamics and decarbonisation imperatives, so that transition planning for the retirements of Loy Yang A and B can begin in earnest now, rather than continue to be delayed by “official” closure dates in the late 2040s.
- The state government should continue to strive to ensure the best environmental outcomes from mine rehabilitation and the clean-up of legacy contamination, with an additional focus on First Nations cultural and job-creation opportunities and creating on-going economic activity in the region.
- The state government should establish the Latrobe Valley Authority as a permanent statutory authority, with secure on-going funding and an enhanced remit for overseeing broader transition planning. This should include resourcing for the development of a community-driven plan for economic and socio-cultural diversification.
- The state government should prioritise regional opportunities in clean energy, with targeted financial, regulatory and ancillary support for key renewable energy and storage projects, including early investment in establishing and expanding the Gippsland Renewable Energy Zone.
You can read or download the full submission below.