The Victorian Greens have welcomed news that AGL will shut down its Loy Yang A coal plant in 2035 but say the decision lays bare the need for the government to step in and take an active role in planning for the phase out of coal.
The Greens say coal plant closure dates in the Latrobe Valley are likely to continue being brought forward and unless Labor has a plan, workers and communities will be left in the dust.
Earlier this month both major parties shot down a Greens bill that would have legislated a 2030 end date for coal.
As part of their election platform the Greens have proposed a job-for-job guarantee for coal workers and funding to 2035 for an Independent Latrobe Valley Authority.
An independent Parliamentary Budget Office costing found that the job-for-job guarantee would cost $150.9 million dollars over the forward estimates.
The Authority would be tasked with the closure of Victoria’s three remaining coal plants and the development of new industries for the region such as offshore wind, clean manufacturing and mine site rehabilitation.
Quotes attributable to Deputy Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell MP:
“The writing is on the wall for Victoria’s brown coal plants which burn Australia’s most polluting coal. They’re old, unreliable and polluting - harming the health of local communities.
“With the recent announcement by AGL that Loy Yang A will be closed by 2035, it’s clear our coal plants have had their day and will be shut sooner than expected.
“The Victorian Government cannot keep their head in the sand any longer and deny that coal is on the way out. They need to release a plan to replace these plants with 100% renewable energy which also protects workers and communities.
“The Greens want to see a job-for-job guarantee for coal workers with funding to 2035 for an Independent Latrobe Valley Authority and a commitment to more renewable energy in Victoria to replace the energy from coal."