Last November, twelve Greenpeace activists were arrested after taking action at the site of the proposed HRL power station at Morwell in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley. The action was part of a long-running campaign to have a $100 million grant to the proposed HRL brown coal power station cancelled.

Today, they had their day in court.

The activists rolled out a massive 200 metre long banner across the site of the proposed brown coal plant. It called on Prime Minister Gillard to live up to her commitment that no more dirty coal-fired power stations would be built in Australia.

The activists were all charged with trespass and pled guilty. While eight of the group were moved to the diversion program, the remaining four: Shaun, Emma, Frank and James pled guilty on the day and were fined $250 each. The magistrate, who decided not to record convictions for any of the activists, acknowledged that they each had committed careers and strong principles for the protection of the environment.

As for the campaign, the Energy Minister Martin Ferguson announced in July that HRL’s $100 million grant would finally be cancelled. After years of campaigning by Greenpeace, other environment groups and others in the community, the lynchpin of Australia’s last new coal-fired power station was gone.

Click here to see the story of the campaign to stop HRL’s dirty coal grant.

$1000 in fines is nothing to be sniffed at, but if it helped stop $100 million of taxpayer’s money going to a new dirty coal plant, that’s a pretty good outcome.

Greenpeace is nothing without our activists. And whenever people make the decision that they will put their liberties at risk in order to take peaceful civil disobedience, it is always humbling and powerful in equal measures.

Thanks to all those who took action to help us stop HRL, and onwards to a renewable energy revolution!