Reprinted from the WSWS 22nd March 2014 Fire fighting authorities in Morwell, 130 kilometres east of Melbourne, yesterday declared that a five-week coal mine fire that began on February 9 is nearly out and that the area is safe.
While all eyes focused on Canberra and the Federal Budget this week, the Victorian Government quietly announced that all discussions have been discontinued on retiring all or part of the Hazelwood brown coal fired power station. Environment groups strongly criticised the decision.
"Sadly, what this announcement seems to confirm is that the Coalition government has absolutely no plan to reduce greenhouse emissions in the state. Although environmental groups were unanimous in demanding the full closure and replacement of the ageing and dirty Hazelwood power station, the promised partial closure would have been a good step in the right direction" said Friends of the Earth campaigns co-ordinator, Cam Walker.
Emminent Melbourne climate scientist Professor David Karoly has called for the Hazelwood coal fired power station to be closed down completely, saying "Hazelwood is partly to blame for causing climate change."
GDF Suez, is taking over Hazelwood Power Station, via merger to form New International Power. Business description states world ranking of 1, 2 or 3 in businesses of LNG, hydro, wind and nuclear power. Curiously, at their website, only thing mentioned for Australia is Sita, waste recycling. Spin off from GDF Suez monster, Degremont Suez, is lead partner in Victorian very mistaken Desalination plant.
The stretch of High Street outside the office of ALP State MP for Northcote Fiona Richardson was more than usually noisy this morning as peak-hour motorists – and several cyclists - responded to the call from members of Darebin Climate Action Now who were picketing the office with placards opposing the projected HRL coal-fired power station in the Latrobe valley and calling for real action on climate change.
To chants of “Coal, don’t dig it/ Leave it in the ground/ Time to get with it”, members and supporters of Darebin Climate Action Now marched from Northcote Town Hall to the office of local Labor MP Fiona Richardson to demand an end to the Brumby government’s pro-coal policies. They handed out leaflets calling on people to ‘Vote Climate’ in the upcoming election, and posing the question ‘Can we trust Labor on Climate?’, and also delivered a copy of Beyond Zero Emissions’ Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan to the office.
Melbourne's Cross Campus Environment Network (CCEN) organised a rally on Monday outside the office of Premier John Brumby in opposition to energy
company HRL's plans to build a new coal-fired power station in the Latrobe Valley. Apart from a range of speakers condemning the plan, in the interests of
fair play they also invited a representative of the company to answer objections...
Hundreds of activists travelled to the Hazelwood brown coal fired power station, 180 km east of Melbourne, for the 101010 global work party on Sunday.
Environmental groups in Victoria are behind a campaign to replace the aging Hazelwood power station with renewable energy. Premier John Brumby wants to close the power station down in stages and wants Federal Government financial assistance in doing so. But the new Federal climate change minister Greg Combet is decidedly cool on the idea.
The Switch Off Hazelwood organisers are calling for:
Approximately 300 climate activists have converged on Hazelwood Power Station in the Latrobe Valley in Victoria to demand its immediate shut down. The protest is one of the over 7000 thousand protests planned on the 10/10/10 to mark the annual 350.org protests. The protestors are planning to build a model of a solar power plant to symbolise how Hazelwood could be replaced to create a carbon neutral future.
For the latest photos see the Switch Off Hazelwood flickr Photostream | Takver's Replace Hazelwood Photostream | Climate Action Moreland | AYCC photostream | Youtube video: Shaun Murray on Replacing Hazelwood | Erecting the solar power tower | 'Switch off Hazelwood' Protest Rally - 10/10/10
To read updates from the day click here.
Monday morning, 11am September 20, the group Switch Off Hazelwood Switch On Renewable Energy , delivered the new owners of Hazelwood power station - French company GDF Suez - a box of lemons and a letter informing them of the nature of their recent acquisition.