Finding a way forward for coal-reliant communities

As many of us in Victoria's Latrobe Valley have been expecting, EnergyAustralia last week announced that it will be closing the Yallourn coal-fired power plant in 2028, four years earlier than scheduled.

With the cost-effectiveness of coal-fired power plummeting as more renewable energy comes online, the company said it needs to bring the closure forward.

As with any power station closure, like Hazelwood in 2017, the community and the workforce at Yallourn are left wondering what comes next.

These are people just like me, men and women who have worked for decades to power Australia while earning an income to support their families and local communities.

I've worked in the coal industry for more than 40 years, and I can tell you I have seen the energy transition gathering pace.

It's time for the federal government to stop denying the obvious - coal and gas power is becoming financially unviable.

This was also behind AGL's plan to close the Liddell coal-fired power plant in NSW's Hunter Valley earlier than planned in 2023 - it was a commercial business decision.

Read the full article published in the Canberra Times 15th March 2021