The people of the Latrobe Valley ought to be worried about the “bold” plans to dry and export brown coal to China as announced on the front page on 6th industry that involves the burning of fossil fuels including coal is a dead end. Sooner or later the reality of climate change is going to dawn on everybody and there will be a transformation in our energy supply away from coal. Hopefully that realization will happen sooner as things are looking grim already with record high temperatures across Australia last summer, melting of Arctic ice, oceans becoming acidic, severe floods and droughts, hurricanes occurring in abnormal severity and position- and all this with less than one degree of average global warming so far.
Recent news of job losses in the Geelong region have prompted immediate pledges of money and support for the area far in excess of what has flowed to the Latrobe Valley despite job losses on a grander scale. The Geelong area also boasts an innovative company producing carbon fibre car wheels which has been generously supported by our federal government.
These are the kinds of initiatives that would truly make our community resilient – diversified industry as called for in the Latrobe Valley Transition Committee report. Clearly there are better uses for the carbon in coal than burning it. Imagine if the billions of taxpayers dollars that is currently flowing to the overseas private companies who own the power stations was instead flowing to new Latrobe Valley businesses and infrastructure, health services and renewable energy companies. Those billions of dollars should be supporting our economy not lining the pockets of overseas investors. This is the vision of the Greens and why I am proud to be the candidate for McMillan. Please remove your blinkers and stop supporting political parties who are selling us out.
Other things the government could do for Latrobe Valley are: