New coal-fired power station licences fail to limit greenhouse gas emissions or protect the community


The Victorian Government’s decision today to allow our state’s three coal power stations to continue producing current levels of greenhouse gas pollutants is a failure to show climate leadership.

Currently, Victorian coal power stations are allowed to emit unlimited levels of toxic mercury, lead and dangerous fine particles. The controls on coal power plants in Victoria are weaker than almost anywhere else in the entire world, including China and the USA. 

Each year in Victoria there are 205 premature deaths, 259 low birthweight babies, and 4,376 children with asthma because of coal pollution.

The review the government had been undertaking for the past three years was an opportunity to take significant climate action and protect community health.

While the Government has, for the first time, capped mercury pollution from Victoria’s coal plants, this ‘cap’ is so high it won’t actually reduce mercury pollution. The Labor Government has also decided not to put any limits on CO2 emissions for our coal plants.

Deputy Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell, said it’s disappointing that after a three-year review, Victoria’s coal plants don’t even meet the basic conditions for toxic chemicals and pollution that exist in China, Europe and the USA.

Until our government has a plan to tackle coal, it doesn’t have a plan to tackle climate change.

Quotes attributable to Deputy Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell MP:

“We’re in a climate crisis, yet the Victorian Labor Government has decided that our number one source of emissions - Victoria’s coal power plants - don’t even need strict controls on the pollution they can pump into the air.

“Today’s decision to allow Victorian coal plants to continue to pollute the air with toxic lead, mercury and other pollutants is a blow not just for the climate, but also for the community living in the Latrobe Valley who bear the brunt of this pollution every day.

“Victoria’s three coal plants are pumping toxic pollution including CO2, mercury and lead into the air, and yet this Victorian Labor Government won’t even make the big coal corporations meet minimum conditions that coal plants in China, the USA and Europe have to meet. 

“Why are the lives of people in China, USA and Europe worth more than the lives of people in the Latrobe Valley?”