The Victorian Greens have urged the State Labor Government to take action on Yallourn, following news that foreign-owned EnergyAustralia will fund upgrades to one of its counterparts in NSW while remaining tight-lipped on the future of Yallourn.
Victorian Greens Member for Brunswick, Dr Tim Read, believes EnergyAustralia’s silence on Yallourn in the Latrobe Valley is a sign of its imminent closure and has urged the State Labor Government to plan for Yallourn’s replacement as part of an urgent transition out of coal.
Coal is the biggest cause of climate change and contributes to just over half of Victoria’s climate pollution. As the country’s dirtiest power station, Yallourn urgently needs to be retired.
The Victorian Greens are also waiting on the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) in Victoria to announce pollution controls for the state’s three remaining coal power stations, including Yallourn.
The standards are a chance to bring Victoria in line with pollution controls already standard in the US, EU and China.
It is disappointing that this announcement continues to be delayed, while the Latrobe Valley community is exposed to harmful chemicals including mercury, sulphur dioxide and fine particles that cause heart and lung disease.
Victoria needs a government with the courage to phase out coal in a way that is fair to workers and communities, with investment in new renewable energy jobs and industries.
As stated by the Victorian Greens acting climate change spokesperson, Dr Tim Read
“EnergyAustralia won’t come clean about their intentions for Yallourn, despite it being Australia’s dirtiest power station.
“It’s clear that EnergyAustralia realise the station needs to be retired. It’s time for the State Labor Government to be honest about the health and climate costs of coal, and plan for a fair and fast transition.
“We want the State Labor Government to put a clear and realistic date on Yallourn’s closure, so that workers are not taken by surprise as they were when Hazelwood closed.”