MEDIA RELEASE: Monday, November 28, 2016
Communities across the country will benefit in more ways than one if a quick and orderly coal retirement plan is developed, renewable energy and health advocates say.
Today’s interim Senate report into the retirement of coal-fired power stations recommends the Federal Government develop a national plan for the replacement of Australia’s ageing coal-fired power stations as well as changes to electricity laws to boost the take up of clean energy.
The Senate inquiry has heard from unions, industry and environmental groups who all say preparation must start now.
Fiona Armstrong from the Climate and Health Alliance says retiring coal-fired power stations will immediately improve the health of Australians.
“The burning of coal exposes communities to avoidable health risks. Pollution from coal burning causes heart and lung disease, lung cancer, kidney disease, impacts on neurological development and can affect reproductive health, as well as cause premature deaths.”
The Australian Wind Alliance’s Andrew Bray says wind energy will play a crucial role in modernising Australia’s electricity system.
“Wind is the fastest growing and cheapest source of new electricity generation in the country which not only creates much-needed jobs in regional Australia but stimulates local economies.”
Nicky Ison from the Community Power Agency says communities groups across Australia are already embracing the change.
“More than 80 communities in Australia are developing or already running their own clean energy projects. Governments should follow their lead and empower more communities to take part.”
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