Friday 3rd August 2012/ac
$100Million withdrawal to HRL Coal Power Plant Project-
A big win for Community Environmental Action!
I welcome the announcement by my Labor Government colleague, Minister for Energy Resources, The Hon Martin Ferguson MP, that the Australian Government is withdrawing the offer of a potential $100 million grant to the HRL Project in the Latrobe Valley.
This is a big win for community environmental action, with many people across Victoria raising serious concerns about the proposal. In February I presented a petition from 11,916 petitioners calling on the House to withdraw federal funding for the proposed new coal-fired power station in Victoria and invest in a clean renewable energy future for Victoria instead.
Energy Company HRL proposed to build a $1.2 billion 600 megawatt power plant, which would have produced around 4 million tonnes of carbon emissions. How we can reduce carbon emissions with projects that are plus 4 million tonnes.
The funding was originally awarded by the Howard Government in 2007, but since then the money had not been spent, conditions had not been met, and extensions had been granted until the end of June. Given HRL still could not meet the funding requirements, it was appropriate that Minister Ferguson withdraw the funding.
The HRL project also had no private money. Environment Victoria advised me that in 2009 HRL lost their major Chinese partner, who withdrew their 50% stake. In 2011 Australia’s big four banks all announced that they would not be involved in the project, and in October 2011 a number of international banks declared that they too would not finance the proposed power station, with HSBC indicating that HRL was too polluting for them to invest in. According to Environment Victoria HRL’s project costs blew out.
This is a great win for local environmental action.
Kelvin Thomson MP
Federal Member for Wills
- Speech to Australian Parliament calling on HRL Funding to be withdrawn: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITGjJZhS9po&list=UUHJgaKR3Glj9bQW4VHYr35A&index=4&feature=plcp