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Morrison, Andrews have dropped ball on Yallourn

Media Release
Adam Bandt 10 Mar 2021

The Greens have responded to the early closure of Yallourn by 2028 by slamming the Federal and State governments’ refusal to legislate a clear timetable for all coal closures by 2030 and establish proper transition authorities, saying Liberal and Labor’s unwillingness to plan a coal phase-out has left workers and communities in the lurch.

For too long, the state and federal governments have taken a backseat with the coal power station’s impending closure, despite years of advocacy from the Greens and environmental groups calling for a planned transition.

By taking millions in donations from big coal corporations instead of developing a clear plan for the phase-out of coal, Liberal and Labor have left workers and communities at the whim of decisions made by big corporations and billionaires in overseas boardrooms.

The writing has been on the wall for coal for years, and the Greens have long advocated for our governments to establish a plan that would see workers and communities adequately supported.

Coal remains the biggest cause of climate change in Victoria, and accounts for roughly 70 per cent of our state’s energy.

Lines from Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt MP:

“Liberal and Labor have refused to plan the transition out of coal and workers and communities are paying the price.

“Coal had had its day, but instead of planning for this closure, Liberal and Labor haven taken millions in donations from big coal corporations, leaving workers and communities at the whim of decisions made in overseas boardrooms.”

“The transition must put workers and communities at the forefront. They have powered Australia’s industry for centuries, and as we move to renewables they deserve certainty over their future, but Liberal and Labor are siding with the big corporations instead.

“To tackle the climate crisis, all of Australia’s coal-fired power stations must join Yallourn and be closed by 2030, but with a planned transition that looks after workers.

“Scott Morrison must create a Federal Transition Authority to plan for timetabled closures of Australia’s remaining coal-fired power plants by 2030.

“Even while coal barons quit the industry, Morrison’s coal-spruiking arrogance leaves workers and communities at the whim of big corporations and billionaires in overseas boardrooms.”

Lines from Deputy Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell MP:

“This coal plant in Victoria is the dirtiest in Australia. It will now shut four years ahead of schedule. Today’s announcement raises the question: why have our state and federal governments left these important decisions to big coal corporations instead of supporting workers and communities through a planned transition? 

“Yallourn’s early closure is surprising to no-one. We’re in a climate crisis, renewable energy is booming and our coal plants are on their last legs. Governments need to step up and plan for coal closure, not leave it to profit-driven energy corporations. 

“Victoria must be aiming for 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2030. A Yallourn closure date of 2028, while Victoria’s two Loy Yang stations keep pumping out pollution, is inadequate for the climate challenge we face. A Victorian government serious about climate change would be planning to replace all coal power in Victoria by 2030.

“The Victorian Government can’t take a backseat on coal closure. Victorian Labor proudly supports renewables. Now they need to be honest about coal closure. Victorian communities and workers should not have to pay the price for governments sleepwalking toward the inevitable.”

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