I raise the matter of Australia’s dirtiest power stations at Hazelwood and Anglesea. Hazelwood is Australia’s dirtiest power station and the third most polluting power station in the world. There is now surplus energy in the grid, equivalent to five Hazelwoods, so why is it still operating?
If this government is serious about climate change and leading on renewable energy, why is not acting now to shut down Australia’s dirtiest power station? If this government is serious about investigating the 2014 coal mine fire, how can it ignore the everyday health impacts of regular operations at Hazelwood? If the government is serious about standing up for workers, how can it risk leaving them stranded without a plan when Hazelwood’s owners switch off an unprofitable and degraded asset?
The government has a choice. It can leave the workers of the Latrobe Valley and their families without jobs when the company locks up and leaves, or take leadership now by replacing Hazelwood and proactively developing a community-led transition plan that the Greens are calling for. Today at 12:30 p.m. a crowd will gather on the steps of this building to show the government that Victorians are serious about replacing Hazelwood and Anglesea.
I am here to tell the government that it should be serious about it too. We are here to remind the government that in 2010 Labor had a plan to phase out Hazelwood, and it should stick to that promise.
No government can claim to have a credible climate change policy unless it has a plan to phase out coal-fired power. The government must prove that it means what it says about climate change. Coal-fired power stations must go, and Hazelwood and Anglesea must be the first to go.
Ellen Sandell, State Member for Melbourne
16 April 2015