A Latrobe Valley resident wipes toxic coal dust from their windowsill. Source: Latrobe Valley Express.
In 2014, the mine that supplies Hazelwood power station caught fire. It burned for 45 days, blanketing the surrounding area in toxic smoke. It was one of the worst pollution events in Victoria’s history. A government inquiry found this fire was linked to the deaths of at least 11 people.
Out-dated? This is what computers looked like at the time Hazelwood was built.
AGL: “A planned phase-out of coal plants is needed to reduce the risk of blackouts, because it will send a signal to the market that more renewable energy should be built.” (AFR March 5 2017)
EnergyAustralia (owners of Yallourn power station): “We need an orderly, realistic transition from large, older coal-fired power stations.” (AFR, March 5 2017)
The Business Council of Australia: “Victoria needs a managed transition away from coal-fired electricity generation. Given the profile of Victoria’s coal-fired generation fleet, a more managed transition policy would seek to minimise the risks of this transition on system security and individual communities throughout Victoria.” (BCA, September 2016)
A particularly comprehensive articulation of this vision is the Australian Council of Trade Union’s Policy Discussion Paper.
Hazelwood mine over Melbourne CBD (to scale).
Header image provided courtesy of Gippsland Solar