Hazelwood protest at Treasury Place – 5 September

Responding to reports that State Cabinet was to finalise a deal on expanding Hazelwood power station, environmentalists protested outside government offices this morning …

Many wore black as a sign of mourning for a decision which would see the industrialised world’s most polluting power station – already past its use-by date and employing obsolete technology – allowed to continue operating well beyond 2030. The protest featured a huge – 10 metre square – banner reading “Quit Coal” and a 3-storey tall inflatable model cooling tower …

From a media release by Environment Victoria, Australian Conservation Foundation, and Greenpeace:

The Bracks Government will put at stake its environmental credentials in the lead up to next year’s State election if it allows Hazelwood power station to expand ….

According to reports, the Government has signed a deal with Hazelwood, the developed world’s most polluting power station, which would cap its climate change pollution at 445 million tonnes over 25 years. If these reports are correct this deal would:

– Renege on the Government’s earlier assurances that it would require reductions in Hazelwood’s pollution;
– Allow Hazelwood to continue operating at current emissions levels, which are the worst in Australia and among the worst in the world;
– Effectively provide a $16.7 billion subsidy over 25 years from the public purse, based on current European Union figures, if this emission cap is protected from a future emissions trading scheme; and
– Give Hazelwood a licence to continue operating – and polluting – well beyond 2030 and provide no guarantee when the power station will shut down.

An accompanying fact sheet included the following:

To put the expansion in context, Victoria’s 5-star energy efficient homes standard is expected to save 200,000 tonnes of greenhouse gasses per annum – just four days of Hazelwood’s operations would cancel that benefit.

Update – since the above was written it has been reported that the Bracks Government has agreed to the expansion, or as the Australian puts it, ‘Greenhouse gas culprit has life extended 25 years’.

Huge Quit Coal banner

The banner draped over the wall of Treasury Place

Poster calling on people to let Bracks know they want Hazelwood closed

Poster calling on people to let Bracks know they want Hazelwood closed

Huge inflated model cooling tower

The model ‘cooling tower’