PM given green light to cancel coal funding

Feature Story - 13 September, 2011
Prime Minister Gillard has been given a chance to stop a dirty coal project that would undermine all she has said and done on climate change.

The “HRL” proposal for a new dirty coal power station would create more than 3 million tonnes of carbon pollution each year. Despite the technology and fuel mix HRL would use, it would still be as polluting as a standard black coal power station.

The reason that HRL is still set to go ahead even with a carbon price is that it is supported by a taxpayer-funded grant worth $100 million awarded by John Howard in 2007. Now Prime Minister Gillard has been a clear mandate from the public to cancel HRL’s funding.

A recent survey by Newspoll among a representative sample of more than 600 Victorians has revealed popular support for the Government to reallocate HRL’s $100 million grant to support renewable energy. It shows that 67% of Victorians believe the $100 million grant earmarked for the proposed new brown coal and gas power station at Morwell should instead be used to support renewable energy. This is more than two and a half times the proportion of people who believe the grant should remain with HRL.¹

This news should be a huge relief to Prime Minister Gillard. After promising that no more dirty coal-fired power stations would be built in Australia and going to all the effort of bringing in a carbon price, HRL’s proposed dirty coal power station would be a huge embarrassment and leave her with a lot of explaining to do.

Greenpeace is campaigning to ensure HRL’s $100 million of dirty money is cancelled and you can help make it happen. Download our petition and get your friends, family and colleagues to sign up for a real clean energy future.

¹ Newspoll telephone survey among a representative sample of 602 Victorians aged 18 years and over conducted over the weekends of the 26-28 August and 2-4 September 2011

Participants were asked: The federal government has earmarked a one hundred million dollar grant to assist in the construction of the proposed new power station at Morwell. Which one of the following statements is closest to your view about this grant?

  1. The government should provide the one hundred million dollar grant to assist with the construction of this new power station. (26% of responses)
  2. Or, the government should allocate the one hundred million dollar grant to renewable energy sources, such as wind or solar. (67% of responses)
  3. Neither / don’t know. (7% of responses)

Results were post-weighted using the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics population estimates.