YOUR SAY: Replace Hazlewood

Posted on July 19, 2010 by


As someone who is deeply concerned about climate change it seems extraordinary to me that our state and federal politicians are doing so little to reduce Australia’s growing greenhouse emissions. There are many actions they could take to cut our emissions but one particularly symbolic action would be to commit to replacing Hazelwood coal-fired power station with clean energy by 2012.

Hazelwood is very old, very dirty and very past its used by date. It produces a whopping 15% of Victoria’s greenhouse emissions and is also a big emitter of toxic pollutants linked to health problems like cancer, stroke, asthma, reproductive disorders etc.

Replacing Hazelwood with clean energy by 2012 is not just a pipe dream. Research has shown that it would be genuinely feasible to replace Hazelwood with a combination of energy efficiency measures, renewable energy and gas as a transition fuel. It can be done relatively inexpensively if there’s the social and political will.

There are plenty of signs the Border region would back such a move. Last week Indigo Shire Council became the first local government in Australia to pass a motion to replace Hazelwood with clean energy. And soon Wodonga Council will consider passing a motion similar to Indigo’s, thanks to the vision and leadership shown by Deputy Mayor Ed Foulston.

Residents are also keen to see the end of Hazelwood. This was evident last Saturday when about 60 people gathered at La Trobe University as part of a national day of action on Hazelwood. Children and adults alike took great delight when a cake replica of the power station burst into life. Steam spewed out of the cooling towers, children sang ‘It’s a long way to the top if we keep on burning coal’ and we even had Ed Foulston fleetingly get on his knees to propose to Ali Pockley, Deputy Mayor of Indigo Council, before they cut the cake together. With coverage by the Border Mail and WIN television we really hope we got the message across that the Victorian and Federal governments need to make a pre-election commitment to replacing Hazelwood power station with clean energy by 2012.

Come on, Sophie. Come, on Sussan – help us to RIP Hazelwood.

Lizette Salmon is a member of Wodonga and Albury Towards Climate Health (WATCH).

The views in this story are those of the author and not necessarily those of Our Voice: Politics Albury-Wodonga.