Baillieu government commits $5m towards geothermal project

Thursday November 3rd 2011
Friends of the Earth

geothermal funding a significant step forward for Baillieu government

Environmental organisation Friends of the Earth has welcomed the announcement that the state government has granted $5 million towards a geothermal project in the Surf Coast Region.

“In recent weeks, the Surf Coast community has been focused on the announcement that Alcoa will get another 50 years to burn highly polluting coal at Anglesea” said Friends of the Earth campaigns co-ordinator Cam Walker. “We have received very strong feedback from residents that they do not want coal mining”.

“The Alcoa decision locks us into another half century of dirty fuel, air pollution, and impacts on threatened heathland.

“The future for the Surf Coast lies in tourism and a clean environment. More and more people are moving to the region because of the clean air, wonderful coastline, and great lifestyle. A dirty coal mine belongs to the 20th century, not 2011.

“The good news is that there are alternatives: we can produce much more energy from renewable energy sources in the region.

“Geothermal will be part of the energy future mix that will deliver jobs and investment to the Surf Coast and Bellarine Peninsula. We congratulate the government on awarding this initial grant of $5 million to demonstrate the feasibility of the project, with a further $20 million promised if the project meets milestones. The funding comes from the Energy Technology Innovation Strategy (ETIS) allocation which had been announced in the 2011-12 State Budget”.

“The Baillieu government has been in power for almost a year. On environmental and climate issues, almost every single announcement to date has constituted a backwards step. We hope this support for clean technology marks the beginning of a change of approach by the Baillieu government.’

Further comment: Cam Walker 0419 338 047

Our assessment of the Baillieu’s government track record on environmental issues is available here.

Our summary of renewable energy options for the Surf Coast region is available here.

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