“Replace Hazelwood” says local Federal MP to Parliament
Local Federal MP Kelvin Thompson has called on the Federal Parliament to support replacing Australia’s dirtiest power station. “Australians are hungry for action to tackle carbon emissions” stated Thompson, who acknowledged that he has been contacted by many of his constituents urging “strong, effective, urgent action” to reduce emissions.
Thompson championed Environment Victoria’s report: Fast-tracking Victoria’s clean energy future to replace Hazelwood power station, which outlines a plan for transitioning to other energy sources by 2013. He noted that “replacing Hazelwood will not only cut Victoria’s carbon emissions by over 10 per cent; it will free up 27 billion litres of water each year”.
According to Thompson, costing for Hazelwood’s replacement would be “reasonably straightforward” under an emissions trading scheme, but in its absence the Federal and State Governments “would need to sit down with International Power [the owners of Hazelwood] and negotiate these matters.” And given the national benefits from replacing Hazelwood, there is a case for Commonwealth assistance.
Thompson made clear his position that “the cost of inaction on climate change will exceed the cost of action.” He cited the “mountain” of work that has recently been produced outlining practical ways for Australia to rapidly reduce emissions, mentioning economic modelling produced by the ACF and ACTU. Their report shows that strong action leads to a stronger economy, more jobs, better regional outcomes, less debt and higher living standards. But failure to reduce emissions will result in job losses and lower living standards.
Some of the carbon reduction measures that Kelvin is advocating are problematic. The use of gas as a transition power supply, limits on population levels, and carbon trading schemes have all been vigorously discussed within CAM. These are complex issues which raise a number of questions about effectiveness in reducing emissions, political realities, ethical considerations, and issues of what kind of society we want to live in. While individual members obviously have a variety of views, as a group our position is that we are advocating carbon reduction via alternative means.
Nevertheless, we commend Kelvin Thompson for his strong stance on climate change, his call for urgent effective action to reduce emissions, and his call to replace Hazelwood. Kelvin Thompson recognises the strong community involvement in climate action within Moreland, mentioning “thousands” of citizens who belong to Get Up, and those who at a local level are joining CAM (although someone needs to tell Kelvin we’ve had a name change).
Climate Action Moreland challenges the other political representatives of Moreland to similarly stand with the community, step up and make a strong and tangible commitment to protecting our future.