NO NEW COAL RALLY AND EXERGEN SIT-IN
At midday on Thursday the 28th of June, there was a group of people getting worked up over more than who stole their lunch out of the work fridge.
More than 200 people spent their lunchtime on the steps of Parliament house to say that they want ‘No New Coal’ in Victoria.
Quit Coal, Environment Victoria and Greenpeace banded together to show the government and private industry that new coal has no place in this state.
Speakers included Labor MP Don Nardella who firmly stated that there needed to be real action taken to fight climate change and that coal had no place in Victoria.
There are a range of new frightening coal projects that the state government wants to begin in Victoria, egged on by mining companies who stand to make a great deal of money from them.
Company Exergen plans to partner with Mantle Mining to dig an open cut brown coal mine in Bacchus Marsh. They want to use experimental and untested technology to dry the coal and make it suitable for exports.
“The state government and Exergen want to use Bacchus Marsh as a guinea pig for their project. But the risks to our farmland, to our water and to our children’s health is way too high,” Katherine Smyrk, No New Coal Bacchus Marsh.
The state and federal governments are also poised to decide whether or not to grant $150 million of taxpayers money to company HRL, who want to build a brand new coal fired power station in the Latrobe Valley.
If it was to go ahead, it would be the first new coal plant to be built in Victoria for twenty years.
Twiggy Palmcock from Excretum Mining also made an appearance, but left quickly, after ingesting a piece of his own coal.
After the rally, around 50 people held a sit-in in the foyer of Exergen’s Collins Street Office.
They were requesting that the companies CEO Trevor Bourne come and talk to the people that his new project would affect.
He refused. He has also ignored a series of emails and phone-calls requesting a meeting.
“We’re just concerned about the future for our families, and Trevor Bourne won’t even talk to us,” said Ms Smyrk.