Energy Minister dodges questions on Yallourn

Labor’s Energy Minister, Lily D’Ambrosio has dodged questions on the future of Yallourn Power Station.

Appearing before Parliamentary Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) this week, Minister D’Ambrosio was asked how the Andrews Labor Government intended to achieve its 50 per cent Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) by 2030.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Melina Bath said Minister D’Ambrosio was evasive and would not disclose details of the state governments ‘internal work’ when asked.

“Around 80 per cent of Victoria’s electricity is currently provided by coal and gas, given Labor’s VRET, it is unlikely the target can be met without the closure of a Latrobe Valley power station,” said Ms Bath.

“The Latrobe Valley community is justifiably concerned about the future of the Yallourn Power Station and the livelihood of its many employees and contractors.”

Yallourn Power Station intends to operate until 2032, while Loy Yang A and Loy Yang B intend to remain operational until 2048.

During PAEC questioning, Minister D’Ambrosio said the government ‘had done a lot of internal work’ to ensure the 50 per cent VRET could be achieved.

Ms Bath said her Nationals colleague, PAEC Member and Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien repeatedly asked the Minister to share Labor’s modelling and internal work with both the Committee and Latrobe Valley community to no avail.

“Instead Minister D’Ambrosio arrogantly avoided answering the question and deflected talk to the physical viability of Yallourn Power Station,” said Ms Bath.

“There is significant concern within the community that the plant won’t make it to 2032 as the Andrews Labor Government continues to chase inner city green votes.

“The last thing the Latrobe Valley community need is to be slapped with another forced power station closure and thousands of resulting job losses, like Hazelwood.

“The Greens are targeting Yallourn Power Station in State Parliament and green groups have ramped up their demands for the station’s closure.

“Latrobe Valley residents deserve respect and openness and transparency from Minister D’Ambrosio, not a hidden agenda.

“Another sudden power station closure would have wide reaching consequences for a community that has suffered enough under Labor’s poorly planned energy agenda.”