“My contention this morning is that in parallel to our concern about the potential for the continued operation of a brown coal-fired power station in the middle of Anglesea; we should be equally concerned about the continued non-operation of the coal mine. About the risk that is posed if a buyer is not found, if the mine is not maintained properly as Alcoa’s interests in the region decline.
As with the Hazelwood mine that was it passed to GDF Suez, not maintained properly and caught fire in February. Perhaps Alcoa will simply walk away and hand the asset back to the state – there are thousands of examples of used-up mines across our country, that despite licence agreements have never been rehabilitated. Where is the Contingency Plan to bulldoze the mine, spread the overburden back over the site, perhaps bury the stockpiled human biosolids from Warrnambool and Werribee sewage treatment plants as a carbon source and rehabilitate the area as a community asset?”
Individuals will lose their jobs if this mine closes – that’s unfortunate. What is also unfortunate in our country is that we continue to maintain a “legacy of entitlement” culture that says that because it’s been this way for forty years I’m entitled to have it stay this way.
This aversion to change is not serving us well. If we hadn’t learned and changed we’d still have lead in paint, cars without seat belts and we’d all be smokers. This aversion to change is debilitating, it’s inward-looking and unproductive, and ultimately debilitating. Australia needs to develop a “lust for change”.
We need a new economy in Victoria: a smart, sustainable economy to deliver economic, employment and environmental value. So that our state enjoys economic strength, thriving businesses and the growth of jobs for future not the jobs of the past.”
So, shut it down as soon as possible, but work out what to do with it after that, now!”
Audio recording of Rob Gell’s speech
» Right-click and use dropdown menu to download the mp3-audio file
» Transcript: Rob Gell’s speech manuscript (PDF, 3 pages)
» Rob Gell’s home page: www.robgell.com