One valuable way that you can contribute to this campaign is by writing to or calling relevant politicians. Below are a number of points that may assist you in formulating your discussions. We have also included a table of contacts.
You can also sign our petition, purchase a ‘Shut It Down’ car bumper sticker from a number of shops in Anglesea or a ‘Shut It Down’ corflute sign for houses.
- The mine and power station were approved and built to supply approximately 40% of the power requirements of the Alcoa Point Henry smelter and in doing so supported the employment of 600 workers. The continued operation of the mine and power station have historically been justified on this basis. Now that the Anglesea coal mine and power station will no longer support the ongoing employment of these workers there is no longer any social license to continue the operation of the mine and power station, or to continue to impose the associated health and environmental damage on our community.
- The Victorian Energy Market is already in surplus and the closure of the Point Henry smelter will further reduce State demand by 6%. The electricity from the Anglesea Power Station is not needed. That production of this electricity causes harm to health and the unique local environment renders continued operation inappropriate and unacceptable.
- Alcoa’s Anglesea power station is one of the most polluting in Australia. The locally mined brown coal has 10 times the sulphur content of coal mined in the LaTrobe Valley. When this coal is burned, the powerful and dangerous respiratory irritant Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) is released. The Anglesea power station emits 3 times as much SO2 as Hazelwood, a notorious polluter that is 10 times its size. In addition to SO2, toxic particulates are released from both the coalmine and power station directly onto the Anglesea township and the surrounding heathland. Particulates have recently been classified by the World Health Organisation as carcinogenic. Other toxic chemicals are also emitted from the power station putting residents, visitors and the local environment at risk. Groups most vulnerable include those with pre-existing cardiac and respiratory illness, the elderly and children.
- The mine and power station are located less than 1,000 metres from the new community primary school and within 500 metres of homes. The Inappropriateness of this proximity is self-evident.
- In 2009 Anglesea was listed as the third highest at risk area from bush fire. Victoria is in turn one of the most bushfire prone areas in the world. The recent disaster in Morwell is a salutary reminder that open cut coalmines in the vicinity of townships are extremely hazardous. All the more so when the coalmine is surrounded by native bush. The risk of a similar calamity in Anglesea is clearly very high.
- The coalmine and power station lie within the Anglesea Heath, National Heritage listed heathland that lies adjacent to the iconic Great Ocean Road.
- The costs of bringing the mine and power station up to best practice health and environmental standards are likely to be prohibitive. There has been COAG agreement to the implementation of revised Air Quality Standards by 2015. Meeting these standards will require that very substantial funds be invested in currently available pollution reduction technology such as SO2 scrubbers, recently estimated to be in the order of $160 million. Alcoa has so far avoided this expense and proposes handing the burden of standard compliance and installation on to a new owner. Fire protection and response infrastructure is also likely to be mandated, yet another potentially prohibitive expense. Decommissioning and rehabilitation when the mine and power station inevitably close will add considerably to the cost.
- The imminent closure of the Point Henry smelter and the associated loss of employment in Geelong have led to a change in community opinion on the Surf Coast. There is now a widely held and growing view in the community that neither Alcoa or any other interested buyer has the social licence to continue operating the mine and power station. Anglesea residents have for decades borne the cost to their health and their environment to support a large regional employer. There is no longer the will for this continued poisoning to occur. Anglesea residents will not support and will not bear the costs of the production of unnecessary electricity to profit an unknown company with which the town has no history and no relationship.
In view of the above matters it is SCAA’s expectation that any potential purchaser of the mine and power station and any buyers of electricity produced by the mine and power station will:
- Encounter a great deal of community opposition and
- Be exposing itself to the risk of serious reputational damage by taking on a mine and power station that has plainly reached their use by dates.
Please refer to the contacts listed below. For a list of Surf Coast Shire Councilors please go to their website.
|Sarah Henderson MP Federal Member for Corangamite||3A/195 Colac Rd, Waurn Ponds, Vic, firstname.lastname@example.org||03 5243 1444|
|Hon Dr Denis Napthine Victorian Premier||Level 1, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne, VIC email@example.com||03 9651 5000|
|Daniel AndrewsVictorian Leader of the Opposition||517A Princes Highway, Noble Park firstname.lastname@example.org||03 9091 7921|
|Hon Terry MulderState Member for Polwarth||Level 20, 1 Spring Street, Melbourne, VIC email@example.com||03 8392 6000|
|Mr Russell Northe MP Victorian Minister for Energy & Resources||PO Box 214, Morwell firstname.lastname@example.org||03 5133 9088|
|Ms Lily D’Ambrosio, Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources||6 May Road, Lalor 3075||lily.d’email@example.com||03 9465 9033|
|EPA Victoria – Head Office||GPO Box 4395Melbourne Victoria firstname.lastname@example.org|
|EPA Victoria –||State Government OfficesCorner Little Malop and Fenwick StreetsGeelong Victoria 3220|
|Department of Education and Early Childhood Development||GPO Box 4367MELBOURNE, Victoria 3001|
|Department of Education and Early Childhood Development||PO Box 2086, Geelong, Victoria 3220 Location: 5A Little Ryrie Street, Geelong, Victoria email@example.com|
|Dr Rosemary LesterChief Health Officer of Victoria||50 Lonsdale Street Melbourne 3000 Victoria, Australiafirstname.lastname@example.org|