The last of Victoria’s three remaining coal plants would be closed by 2030 at the latest, 16 years ahead of the current anticipated timeframe under a Greens bill set to be introduced to state parliament this week.
The Energy Legislation Amendment (Transition from Coal) Bill 2022 sets out a timeline for the closure of the coal-fired Loy Yang A and B, and Yallourn power stations in the Latrobe Valley, which together generate about 70% of the state’s electricity.
“The writing is on the wall for Victoria’s brown coal plants which burn Australia’s most polluting coal,” Victorian Greens acting climate spokesman Dr Tim Read said.
“They’re old, unreliable and spew toxic pollution that is harming the health of local communities.”
EnergyAustralia has already announced plans to accelerate the closure of its Yallourn power station, declaring it will be retired by mid-2028, despite being licensed to operate until 2032. AGL has also brought forward the closure date of its Loy Yang A plant, shifting it from 2048 to 2045. Alinta Energy’s Loy Yang B is due to shut down in 2046.
Under the Greens’ plan, Yallourn will close in 2024, Loy Yang A in 2027 and Loy Yang B in 2030.
In addition to bringing forward the closure of the coal-fired power plants, the Greens also propose a job-for-job guarantee for coal workers and secure funding to 2035 for an independent Latrobe Valley Authority. Under the reform, the authority would be tasked with the power plants’ closure, and developing new industries in the region like offshore wind, clean manufacturing, and mine site rehabilitation.
The Greens said the bill would also increase Victoria’s legislated renewable energy target to 100% by 2030, a move it says would be supported by a $10 billion investment into renewables. The state government is aiming for 50% renewable energy by 2030.
“For too long Victoria has lagged behind other states and countries when it comes to transitioning away from polluting fossil fuels, but this bill gives us a chance to go further and faster in tackling the climate crisis,” Read said.
The Greens are releasing the bill alongside a climate policy package ahead of the November state election. The bill is expected to be debated and voted on in September following its introduction.
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