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Napthine's archaic coal plan

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Ellen Sandell
State MP for Melbourne
13 October 2014

Today the Victorian Government released it energy policy document: "Victoria's Energy Statement".

It really should be titled "How to keep Victoria in the dark ages".

Page two has all the information you need to know about this Government's approach to energy. It lists the members of the 'Expert Reference Group' which include Stephen Orr, Commercial Director of GDF Suez Australian Energy (the company that own the Hazelwood coal plant - one of the dirtiest in the world), and Professor Paul Simshauser, Group Head of Corporate Affairs at AGL (one of the companies campaigning to scrap the federal Renewable Energy Target).


Although David Green, Chief Executive of the Clean Energy Council is also listed, he doesn't seem to have had much success lobbying for the clean energy industry, as the report is essentially a love song written to the coal industry.

If you'd rather eat a lump of brown coal than read a 72-page report about how we should ban wind farms and expand the gas industry, then you're in luck because I've created a handy summary for you. Thanks to Friends of the Earth for helping me identify the key issues.

Here are some gems from the report:

-It says we need to find 'new smarter, cleaner and sustainable uses' for brown coal. Yep, it actually says that. Newsflash Premier: 'keeping it in the ground' is the only sustainable way to 'use' brown coal.

-It says nothing about getting rid of the world's worst anti-wind farm laws (because, you know, those pesky wind farms are so much uglier than a dirty great hole in the ground that occasionally catches on fire...)

-It ignores the fact that we need a Victorian Renewable Energy Target

-It ignores the need for state Governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (because we all know we can rely on our federal mate Tony Abbott to do that for us - the man who today said "coal is good for humanity")

-It presents no clear policy to protect regional communities and farmers from fracking.

So, I'd call that a fail on all counts.

Sorry Dr Napthine, you may want to  live in the golden old days of coal, but we've progressed beyond 19th century technology. Renewables are the future. If you can't see the writing on the wall, Victoria is going to leave you behind.

If you want to know more about the Greens plan to bring Victoria into the 21st century - check it out here.


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Ellen Sandell
State MP for Melbourne
13 October 2014




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