Press Release - September 29, 2022

Victoria has a responsibility to set a national precedent in the shift from coal

The following statement is made in response to AGL's 2035 closure date of Loy Yang A.

Environmental Justice Australia Lawyer, Chloe Badcock said:

“Today, AGL has announced its coal-fired power station, Loy Yang A, will close a decade sooner than planned, in 2035.

“As power stations retire across the Latrobe Valley, every community member deserves to know what will come next for workers and mine rehabilitation. Today’s announcement serves as a wake-up call that AGL’s responsibility doesn’t end when the power station shuts down.

“Victoria will lead the nation and set the precedent for what a good transition looks like.

“Right now, the Victorian government and AGL have a responsibility to set the best standards in the country for rehabilitating toxic mine sites and coal ash dumps, creating jobs in the process and improving the health of Latrobe Valley communities.

“Safely rehabilitating these toxic sites isn’t a choice, it’s a necessity to protect our communities and environment.

“Good governments around the world are managing the inevitable shift away from coal by giving communities certainty, including them in transition planning and ensuring corporations like AGL clean up their mess.”

Tracey Anton, Friends of Latrobe Water said:

“Communities who live near power stations and coal mines have dealt with the health and environmental impacts of powering Victoria for decades.

“It’s great to see AGL shave a decade off its operations, but we need to know what’s going to happen when Loy Yang A shuts down.

“Power stations and coal mines leave toxic waste behind; operators must safely rehabilitate the sites or risk leaving our community with the dangerous consequences.

“Bringing forward closure is a step in the right direction, but for the Latrobe Valley community it means another decade of breathing in toxic air that can lead to a lifetime of health complications.

“Last year alone, all three Victorian power stations emitted more than 900kg of toxic mercury into the air.

“Latrobe Valley workers and the local community have powered the State for generations – we deserve better than another decade of toxic air pollution and no genuine plan for the future.”

CONTACT: Media advisor: 03 8341 3110, [email protected]