The Victorian Greens have slammed a secret deal struck between the Victorian Labor Government and overseas-owned Energy Australia to keep Yallourn open for another seven years.
According to reports this deal could include the government subsidising the coal-fired power station to stay open until 2028 even if power prices are so low they render the plant commercially unviable.
During Question Time in Victorian Parliament today, Deputy Greens Leader Ellen Sandell MP asked the Minister why the government would use taxpayer funds to keep Australia’s dirtiest coal plant open for longer, in the midst of a climate emergency.
The Minister refused to divulge any details of the deal.
Yallourn is the most polluting coal plant in Australia, and coal is the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Victoria. The Greens believe the government should be planning for an early transition away from coal that supports workers and communities in the Latrobe Valley, not paying overseas billionaires to prop up their coal businesses.
Subsidising another seven years of Yallourn will send our fight against climate change backwards.
Quotes attributable to Deputy Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell MP:
"It's outrageous that the Victorian Labor Government has struck a dirty deal to pay to keep Australia's dirtiest coal plant open for another seven years.
"We are in a climate emergency, and the UN tells us we need to stop burning coal ASAP. Yet the Labor Government in Victoria is using taxpayer money to pay an overseas billionaire's coal corporation, in a deal to keep coal plants open and allow them to keep polluting. It is beyond outrageous.
"Why is this Labor Government paying an overseas coal billionaire to keep coal plants open in Victoria, rather than using that money to create new industries and jobs in the Latrobe Valley?"