Clean up or decommission coal mine and power plant

Surf Coast Air Action joins with Surf Coast Shire in calling for Alcoa Anglesea clean up or decommission the Alcoa Anglesea brown coal mine and power plant

MEDIA RELEASE – 30 May 2014

Local Anglesea group Surf Coast Air Action (SCAA) welcomes Surf Coast Shire’s unanimous call on the Federal Government to clean up or decommission the Alcoa Anglesea brown coal mine and power plant through the Direct Action policy.

The unanimous call by Council coincides with the State Government’s announcement that there will be a 12 month moratorium and community consultation process on fracking in Victoria.

SCAA calls upon Energy Minister Russell Northe and Premier Dennis Napthine to implement an immediate moratorium and community consultation process in relation to the future of the Anglesea brown coal mine and power plant while the Direct Action proposal is explored.

Surf Coast Council’s call comes at a time when Anglesea residents are extremely disappointed by the Essential Services Commission’s decision of last week to grant Alcoa’s Anglesea brown coal mine and power station a license to pollute.

That decision potentially paves the way for the sale of the coal mine and power plant, which was previously only permitted to power the Point Henry smelter, due to close in August 2014.

SCAA has condemned the Essential Services Commission’s decision and called on the Victorian government to intervene.

“The Essential Services Commissions’ decision is illegitimate. Those responsible for this decision never visited Anglesea. No effort has been made to meet with us and understand our concerns,” says Regina Gleeson SCAA spokesperson.

“Surf Coast Shire’s unanimous call on the Federal Government underlines the scale of the pollution problem at Anglesea and is welcomed by the Anglesea community” says SCAA spokesperson Mark Smith.

SCAA are also urging the Victorian energy minister to commission independent research into the risks of coal mine fire, ground movement and public health from the continued operation of the facility.

Figures recently released by the National Pollution Inventory confirm that Alcoa-owned coal plant continues to emit three-times more Sulphur Dioxide (a serious respiratory irritant) than the notoriously polluting Hazelwood power station in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, despite Hazelwood producing 10 times the electricity output of Anglesea.

The power plant operates just 550 metres from homes and 1.2 kilometres from a primary school.

“With the Point Henry smelter closing in a few months, there’s no social license for this polluting coal power plant to continue operating,” says Anglesea resident and SCAA spokesperson Regina Gleeson.