Memo to Scott Morrison – Australians want to get out of coal

SYDNEY, March 27, 2019: Greenpeace Australia Pacific today called on the Morrison government to rule out construction of coal-fired power stations in Australia, or publicly bankrolling the expensive rolling repairs required to keep ageing coal stations operational.

The news that federal cabinet has signed off on a shortlist of 12 generation projects for taxpayer underwriting including expanding the ageing and unreliable Vales Point coal-burning power station owned by major Liberal donor Trevor St Baker – demonstrates how far out of step the Morrison government is from the public appetite serious action on climate change.

“Australians are feeling devastating impacts from climate change right now – fires, droughts, violent storms, along with the massive fish kills in the Murray Darling,” said Greenpeace Australia Pacific campaigner, Alix Foster Vander Elst.

“It is imperative that we replace coal-burning power stations with clean energy from the wind and the sun as soon as we can – not look after big political donors, which seems to be the Government’s priority.

“Even suggesting expanding Vales Point, an ageing and unreliable coal-burning power station that broke down five times last year, really puts Scott Morrison and co on the extreme, and far out of step with most Australians on climate,” she said.

According to research by epidemiologist Dr Ben Ewald released last year by Environmental Justice Australia, toxic pollution from the Vales Point coal-burning power station alone leads to between 46 and 99 premature deaths a year, primarily from smokestack pollution that blows over the Sydney airshed.

“How can the Australian public be expected to believe that the government is taking climate change seriously, when their priority seems to be to appease a dwindling band of coal-lovers in the Coalition like Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce?” said Ms Foster Vander Elst.