Quit Coal is a Melbourne-based collective that campaigns against the expansion of the coal and unconventional gas industries in Victoria. As dangerous climate change escalates, ending the age of fossil fuels is one of the greatest global challenges we face today. Building new coal and gas infrastructure locks in decades of polluting, risky, and unsustainable technologies when we should be moving towards a future with clean, renewable energy.
Quit Coal uses a range of tactics to tackle this problem. We advise the broader Victorian community about plans for new coal and unconventional gas projects, we put pressure on our government to stop investing in these projects, and we help to inform and mobilise Victorian communities so they can campaign on their own behalf. We focus on being strategic, creative, and as much as possible, fun!
We hold rallies, public forums and information nights, do outreach at festivals and community events, lobby politicians, and speak to the media. We also take part in peaceful direct action – from creative street theatre to power station occupations, and many things in between.
We are a rapidly growing volunteer-run collective that is non-hierarchical and open to everyone. We are committed to inclusivity, non-violence and empowerment.
The collective began in 2009 with the Switch off Hazelwood, Switch on Renewables campaign. This campaign protested against continued government support for the Hazelwood Power Station in the La Trobe Valley, Gippsland (embarrassingly regarded as the most polluting power station in the developed world). This grassroots campaign, supported by Greenpeace, Environment Victoria, the Greens and the Australian Conservation Foundation, organised community rallies in 2009 and 2010 and forced the Brumby government to commit to Hazelwood’s closure (although the issue is still a hot topic, with the Federal government not committing to a deadline for Hazelwood’s closure).
Quit Coal’s first major campaign was Stop HRL, a community campaign against plans for private company HRL, to build a 600MW coal-fired power station in the Latrobe Valley. This plant would have been the first coal-fired power station to be built in Victoria for twenty years. But people power won out: joining forces with other community and environmental groups, We Stopped HRL!
In November 2011 Quit Coal decided to officially become a part of Friends of the Earth Melbourne (FoE) and now operates as a FoE collective.
Currently, one of Quit Coal’s largest campaigns is the Coal and Gas Free Victoria campaign, working directly with communities across Gippsland and other areas in rural Victoria to resist the push of coal and unconventional gas companies onto their land. It is part of the growing national and global Lock the Gate movement whereby communities aim to remove the social license of mining companies.
Due to ongoing pressure from Quit Coal, Friends of the Earth and numerous Victorian communities, the State Government just announced that there will be a moratorium on fracking until 2015. While this does not do enough to protect our communities, health, water and climate, it is a huge step in the right direction and encourages us to keep fighting against fossil fuels in Victoria.
Quit Coal is constantly working to help remove the social license of coal and unconventional gas and to put pressure on the government to take real action on climate change.
If you would like to help fight climate change and create a sustainable future please get in touch with us.