BCCAN has received information from 350.org that as early as next week, French company ENGIE could announce the closure of Australia’s dirtiest coal-fired power station – Hazelwood – in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.


According to 350.org:


This is a win for the climate and health of the local community, but that’s only half the story. Without a clear transition plan to support workers and the local community to move beyond coal, this announcement will leave the people of the Latrobe Valley in the lurch.

We know it doesn’t have to be this way. Australia urgently needs a national plan to fairly and swiftly close our dirty coal-fired power stations. A plan that requires companies and governments to properly support workers and communities and a plan that forces the big polluters to front up the money needed to clean up the scars left by decades of mining and burning coal.

350.org is calling for:

1. A national plan to phase out coal power stations.

2. Federal support for communities in transition, like the Latrobe Valley.

Communities like the Latrobe shouldn’t have to live in fear about when they’ll be next in line to cop a closure announcement, nor whether they’ll have a job to wake up to tomorrow. They deserve certainty, support to transition to clean, safe jobs and the peace of mind that the companies which have polluted their communities for decades will be made to clean up that mess.

For too long, the people who live around Hazelwood have borne the brunt of the big polluters. Their lives have been cut short by coal pollution. They have lived through one of the worst industrial disasters in Victoria’s history when Hazelwood mine burned for 45 days in 2014.

Local residents deserve our Government’s support to transition away from coal to clean, safe jobs that will protect their communities and our climate. [1]

It’s not right to leave it to local communities to manage this transition. Moving Australia beyond fossil fuels is a national issue that needs a national solution. And with 2016 set to be the hottest year on record, we need that solution now!

350.org is calling on concerned members of the public to write to Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg on ensuring the transition away from fossil fuels is fair.


[1] A recent report from Environment Victoria shows that a range of clean, alternative industries could deliver new jobs and income for the Valley now. All that’s lacking is the political will.