This morning, environmental group Quit Coal have unveiled a giant banner from the top of Flinders Street Station, calling on Premier Napthine to ‘get off the coal train and get on track for renewables’.
Victoria’s new Premier, Denis Napthine, has inherited Baillieu’s regressive policies designed to prop up an unviable brown coal export industry and encourage invasive coal-seam gas mining. Premier Napthine has also endorsed his predecessor’s anti-wind farm laws, which have stalled the development of crucial renewable energy projects in the state.
“Premiers come and go, but climate change will be a long-term challenge for Victoria,” says Quit Coal spokesperson Chloe Aldenhoven. “This issue requires politicians to be visionary, to be honourable and to think beyond their term.”
“Mr Napthine has taken office during a year of record-breaking heatwaves in the state, yet his government ignores the threats posed by climate change,” said
“Rather than plan for climate change, the government recklessly progresses new coal and gas projects. Victorians in towns like Poowong and Bacchus Marsh are being forced to defend their farms, their communities and their water resources from these new and invasive mining projects,” said Aldenhoven.
Leigh Ewbank, spokesperson for sister campaign Yes 2 Renewables, said “Premier Napthine’s anti-wind farm stance is bad for the climate and for the Victorian economy which just slipped into recession. These laws have already cost Victoria 700 Megawatts of clean energy, at least $867 million in investment and more than 2000 jobs.”
“Premier Napthine has a golden opportunity to repeal this law and ensure a clean and profitable renewable power industry,” say Quit Coal and Yes 2 Renewables spokespeople, Leigh Ewbank and Chloe Aldenhoven. To address climate change and ensure a sustainable future for Victorians, the Napthine government must:
- Institute a moratorium on all new coal and unconventional gas projects until unbiased, independent research can prove it is safe for our health, our food and water supply, our farmland and natural ecosystems and our climate.
- Cancel plans to allocate 13 billion tonnes of brown coal in the Latrobe Valley for export.
- Repeal anti-wind farm law VC82 and restore fairness to the planning scheme for renewable energy projects.
The climbers are still hanging from the banner and may be facing charges of trespass when they descend.