Council defers environmental agreement signing
GLADSTONE Regional Council has deferred entering into a Statement of Commitment with a Victorian city council that shares a dependency on coal-fired power.
In Latrobe City Council’s policy Positioning Latrobe City for a Low Carbon Emission Future dated April 6, 2010, it identified international and Australian policies being introduced to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in response to growing concern about climate change and sustainability.
A Statement of Commitment was developed by Latrobe City Council to partner with other councils, to develop and implement a transition strategy that allows positioning to prosper in a low-carbon-emissions future.
Latrobe – which covers Moe, Morwell and Traralgon – supplies more than 90 per cent of Victoria’s electricity through coal-fired generation, with extensive electricity distribution infrastructure linking to Melbourne.
While not of the scale of Latrobe, the Gladstone Power Station remains a significant economic driver in the region and for Queensland, providing 15 per cent to 20 per cent of the state’s peak dispatchable power.
Cr Natalia Muszkat voted for the agreement to be signed.
“It is about calling for the State and Federal Government to work closely with those communities to understand the impact and make the transition to clean energy possible,” she said.
Cr Chris Trevor voted against the agreement being signed, stating the abandonment of the coal-fired power industry would be “economic armageddon”.
“There is nothing at this point in time to replace baseload power, which comes from our coal generation,” Cr Trevor said.
Council resolved to not sign the Statement of Commitment.
Instead, a report will be presented to council considering its position on the “transitioning economy” within six months.