Peak environment group blasts taxpayer-funded extension of coal plant

Nature Conservation Council

May 23rd 2024

The Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales (NCC), the state’s leading environmental advocacy organisation, has today criticised the government’s regrettable decision to use taxpayer money keeping the Eraring coal-fired power station open.
“This is bad news for the climate and the people of NSW.
“The people of NSW will be expected to pay up to $225 million per year to subsidise a polluting coal plant,” Jacqui Mumford, NCC CEO said today.
“This decision risks further undermining investment in renewables, whilst exposing local communities to unacceptable air and water pollution.
“This must be a turning point in our approach to climate action after over a decade of energy policy failure.
“The government need to lean in and speed up renewables, and ensure we never again have to prop up privatized coal generators.
“The cheapest way to ensure reliability is to accelerate the build of renewables, both large scale and solar for homes and businesses.
“This includes urgent support to increase household solar and batteries, bring commercial and industrial solar into the grid, and to expedite the project planning process.
“Premier Minns must step up and prove that we are doing all we can to get to 100% renewables as fast as possible.
Environmental Justice Australia Lawyer Isabella Farrell- Hallegraeff said:
“The Lake Macquarie community has powered the state for decades and shouldn’t be exposed to coal ash and air pollution from Eraring power station any longer.
“We’re dismayed that the Minns government is using public funds to prop up this polluting dinosaur, when it’s pumping out more toxic pollution every year.
“Alarmingly, the data shows that Eraring power station recorded a 130% increase in mercury pollution in the 2023 financial year. Mercury is a heavy metal that permanently damages human brains and kidneys and is especially harmful to children.”
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