Loy Yang Power station in Victoria's Latrobe Valley

Latrobe Valley communities at risk

Toxic coal ash dumps

AGL Energy has plans to expose the Latrobe Valley community to coal ash pollution for another 20 years.

The company wants to build another six enormous coal ash dumps. In these dumps, waste from coal production is mixed with groundwater, creating a cocktail of lethal heavy metals like mercury and lead.

Power stations don’t just produce steam and air pollution. Just like burning wood in fireplaces creates ash, so does burning coal. Power stations mix this coal ash with water into a toxic slurry they pipe to landfill dumps and away from public view.

This toxic slurry can contaminate our forests and farmland, leak into rivers and lakes where our families fish and children swim. When it is left to dry out, winds blow the toxic dust onto nearby communities where people breathe it deep into their lungs.

The Latrobe Valley community has fought to reduce the health impacts of toxic coal waste for generations. The community who has powered Victoria for decades shouldn’t have to cop it for another two decades.

AGL’s plans would enable another 20 years of coal production, despite the Victorian government’s announcement to end coal in Victoria within 12 years.

These dumps would be huge – six times larger than the MCG – but AGL hasn’t given any reason for building dumps that size to last that long.

It just doesn’t stack up.

We also have real concerns about the serious health impacts of coal ash pollution on the local community, existing contamination of local groundwater, poor management of coal ash dumps, and AGL’s patchy track record on protecting the environment.

The Latrobe Valley community has fought to reduce the health impacts of coal pollution for years. They deserve the certainty that they won’t be burdened with the health impacts of coal for another generation.

It’s time for the Victorian government to be on the side of the community, give them the certainty they deserve about their safety and their future, and put an end to coal operators like AGL trying to prolong the life of a dying industry at any cost