Media release: Hazelwood power station to burn native forests

The Greens have revealed that Hazelwood power station could remain open for years to come by burning Victoria's native forests for energy, under changes to the federal RET passed this week.
"The dodgy deal done by Abbott and Federal Labor on the Renewable Energy Target will send our precious native forests to burn in Hazelwood, Australia's dirtiest power station" said Ellen Sandell, Victorian Greens spokesperson for Energy.
Hazelwood was slated to shut years ago, but its life was extended by state Governments desperate to prop up coal. It's an unsafe plant that's not being maintained and needs to close. However, under the new RET rules, Hazelwood has been approved to burn native forests which means it could stay open for years by destroying our precious, endangered habitat and keep polluting communities of the Latrobe Valley.
"This is yet another reason why we urgently need to replace Hazelwood to cut pollution, to make the switch to clean, renewable energy, and to save our native forests and endangered species from going up in smoke" said Ms Sandell.
"Replacing Hazelwood with clean energy will create sustainable jobs in clean industries, rather than propping up a dirty and outdated power station that wants to profit from burning our precious native forest" she said.
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Minister refuses to answer Ellen’s question on coal exploration licences

Ms SANDELL (Melbourne) — My question is to the Minister for Energy and Resources. Last week four new coal exploration licences and a coal retention licence were granted in Victoria. Media reports suggest that the minister did not know about the granting of these licences until after they had been approved. Yesterday in the other place, despite her clear stake in the matter, the Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Regional Development confirmed that she was not consulted. Can the minister advise the Parliament exactly when she became aware that new coal exploration licences had been approved by her department?

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Ms SANDELL (Melbourne) — I rise to affirm that the Greens will support the Planning and Environment Amendment (Infrastructure Contributions) Bill 2015, which creates a new scheme for levying contributions from developers towards infrastructure costs. 

Of course the Greens support efforts to make developer contributions more effective and efficient. When we entrust the development of land, and indeed the crafting of our cityscape, to developers we give them a chance to mould a part of the built environment that we share as a community. We also allow them to make money out of this opportunity to change our city, and in certain circumstances we give them windfall profits. As well as making sure our cities are planned properly for people and not just for developers, it is crucial that developers in turn give back to the community.

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Ms SANDELL (Melbourne) — I rise to say that the Greens will support the Energy Legislation Amendment (Publication of Retail Offers) Bill 2015. It increases the accessibility and transparency of information to energy consumers about feed-in tariff terms and conditions, and gas tariffs, which of course is welcome; the Greens always support greater transparency. 

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A tribute to the Hon. Joan Elizabeth Kirner

Ms SANDELL (Melbourne) — I am honoured to make a few short remarks on behalf of the Victorian Greens to thank Joan Kirner for her work within the political arena and outside of it and to send our condolences to her family, friends and colleagues.


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