Climbers Camp Out:
Day 2 at Yallourn Power Station
Friday December 14th 2012.
Two Quit Coal activists have camped out overnight after scaling a cooling tower at Yallourn Power Station in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.
The pair started climbing at midday Thursday and will remain on the tower into the day. They plan to drop a 21 meter banner that reads, ‘Government Funded Global Warming' in the morning. The activists plan to stay up on the side of the power station as long as possible.
"We're here because the government is directly funding global warming by handing over $5.5 billion of taxpayer money to some of the dirtiest coal-fired power stations in the world as so-called "compensation" for the carbon tax," says Chloe Aldenhoven, one of the Quit Coal activists suspended from the power station.
"The billions that the government is funneling into dirty coal should instead be used to help set up a strong renewable energy sector in Gippsland; creating jobs, supporting the local community and reducing pollution."
To date, $1 billion of the ‘Energy Security Fund’ compensation package has been paid to these power stations, with Yallourn receiving a cash payment of $257 million for 2012. The remaining $4.5 billion will be paid in the form of free carbon permits over the next five years.
Yallourn is one of the dirtiest and least efficient power stations in the world, with an emissions intensity of around 1.3 tonnes of CO2 per kilowatt hour.
The power station is also plagued by problems, with flooding of its coal mine twice in the last five years. Most recently this which forced closure of the power station and poured billions of litres of contaminated water from the flooded mine into the Latrobe River.
This spillage has caused irreparable damage to fishing, agriculture and tourism industries in Gippsland. Local farmers claim that hundreds of hectares of farmland have been rendered useless by the water.
“We’re calling on the government to withdraw the remaining $4.5 billion equivalent in free permits from these dirty brown coal generators to allow the carbon price to get on with its job of cleaning up our energy supply,” says Ms Aldenhoven.
Quit Coal is a Melbourne-based Friends of the Earth collective that campaigns against the expansion of the coal and coal seam gas industries.
Both a Backgrounder and a Briefing Paper are available, please contact the Media Liaison
Quit Coal Media Liaison
0423 100 113