The clock is ticking on HRL

Feature Story - 9 October, 2011
A Greenpeace activist from Brisbane has just revealed a very shaky future for brown coal in Victoria.

It has emerged today in The Age newspaper that HRL – the company trying to build a new dirty coal power station in the Latrobe Valley – have until 31 December 2011 to justify keeping a $100 million grant that could make or break their project.

This taxpayer-funded grant was originally awarded in 2007 by the Howard Government and nearly five years later HRL still haven’t done enough to access the money. Now it appears the Gillard Government is losing patience with HRL.

Learn more about Greenpeace’s campaign to stop HRL

A letter signed by the Prime Minister [PDF 365kB] and written to Jarren, a member of the Greenpeace activist network, is the first time we have seen this clear deadline imposed on HRL. It’s great news for our campaign to stop HRL and a great sign of the power that individuals taking action can have.

Jarren attended one of the Government’s Community Cabinet sessions at Yeronga in September. After not getting a chance to ask a question in person he left a written question for the PM to answer. He was pleasantly surprised to get a response back signed by the PM but didn’t quite understand just how much it meant to the campaign and certainly didn’t see it making major news.

Jarren has taken on many roles as part of Greenpeace, from being a Frontliner in Brisbane to taking part in the Dirty Banks campaign, as well as our successful work in getting Mattel to drop rainforest destruction. Engaging directly with politicians is just one way of taking action, but as Jarren has just experienced, it can be a powerful one. As he says:

“If you take the time to contact your elected officials, your voice does get heard. Politicians do respond to the concerns of the people they represent. Don't let anyone tell you that it's a waste of time. The course of the HRL project could now be changed because of having gone to the effort of asking a simple question.”

Greenpeace and our allies will be doing all we can to make sure that HRL’s $100 million handout is taken back and given to renewable energy instead. But we’re going to need your help. We hope you can take some inspiration from Jarren, who’s message to anyone who wants to help us stop HRL’s dirty coal project is simple:

“Get involved, however you can. What may seem to you like the most insignificant action can potentially completely change everything, but you'll never know unless you actually do it.”

We couldn’t have put it better.

If you want to get involved in our campaign to stop HRL, you can join the mailing list by emailing us at . You could get started right now by downloading our petition to get HRL’s $100 million grant redirected to renewable energy projects instead. If one person can make a difference, just think what we can all do together!