The Victorian government is currently drafting a policy which will outline whether coal has a future in Victoria.
This is significant as it will outline the current government's attitude to previous support for experimental coal technologies (which are often held out as the 'saviour' for the coal industry as the power stations start to close, but which is based on untested and potentially unviable technology). Coal to gas proposals are one example of this type of technology.
We assume it will also outline the government's approach to carbon capture and storage (CCS), a technology which has not proven to be commercially viable at scale, but which is often suggested will provide a lifeline to the brown coal industry in Victoria.
The policy is due to be released shortly.
It is expected that this policy will outline:
- the governments approach to new mining - should new mines or uses of coal (such as coal to gas projects) be allowed,
- its approach to existing coal mining operations in the Latrobe Valley (should there be a plan for closure),
- whether new exploration permits for coal should be allowed (there are currently a number of exploration permits in Gippsland),
- what will happen with the current areas that are under coal allocation (ie, which have been set aside for future possible coal mining). Check here for extra information on the coal allocation areas, and
- whether the government should be approving or funding research and development of coal (this is relevant to both ‘clean’ coal and experimental technologies like coal-to-fuel and coal-to-fertiliser projects).
What do we want to see in the coal policy?
- rule out any further allocations of coal for new uses or the development of coal infrastructure,
- rule out any further allocation of public funds for fossil fuel developments or research, including experimental technologies and carbon capture and storage (CCS),
- lift or cancel all existing coal allocations in the Latrobe Valley and all remaining exploration licenses for coal outside the Valley, and
- commit the government to a workable and funded plan in place to diversify the economy in the Latrobe Valley and start the orderly phase-out of our oldest and dirtiest power stations. As the recent closure of Hazelwood shows, we need government planning for inevitable closures, rather than allowing market conditions to decide when future closure happens,
- include an assessment of the public health impacts of coal mining, to help provide a comprehensive understanding of the costs and benefits of using this resource.
Please check here for extra information about climate change policy in Victoria.
Please support the campaign for an end to coal, a full transition for the Latrobe Valley, energy efficiency & 100% renewables.
1/ Please sign our petition to the Premier
2/ Raise the issue on social media
Use social media to tell the Premier and Resources Minister that you want to see the state government develop a staged transition and closure of coal fired power stations.
Eg on twitter:
@DanielAndrewsMP @wadenoonan #CoalPolicy - Its time for transition, no $ for coal, no new coal #ActonClimateVIC
You can send the same message by tagging the Premier and Resources Minister Wade Noonan on Facebook.
3/ Get involved
To follow what's happening with our climate campaign, please check the Act on Climate facebook page.