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Loy Yang early closure reinforces need for National Energy Transition Authority

AGL’s announcement today that it will be shutting the Loy Yang A power station in the Latrobe Valley nearly a decade earlier than planned adds to the growing pressure on the government to establish a National Energy Transition Authority, the Greens say.

Greens spokesperson on Industry, Transition and Regional Development, Senator Penny Allman-Payne, introduced the party’s National Energy Transition Authority Bill to parliament on Tuesday. The bill has been referred to the Senate Economics Committee for inquiry with a reporting date of March 14, 2023.

Senator Allman-Payne will meet with stakeholders and hold a community consultation in the Latrobe Valley on Wednesday next week.

Comments attributable to Greens spokesperson on Industry, Transition and Regional Development, Senator Penny Allman-Payne:

“Today’s announcement by AGL that it’s bringing forward the closure of the Loy Yang A power station is great news for the climate and for our chances of keeping global heating below 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

“But we can’t afford to let this inevitable transition to a zero emissions economy happen in a haphazard way. Without a national body to plan and coordinate our shift to renewable energy the workers and communities who have for generations relied on the jobs and investment the coal industry has provided will be left behind.

“Decisions to rapidly bring forward the closure of coal fired power plants, however welcome, should not be announced via a company's media release to the ASX. It should be a planned and coordinated process that allows local workers control.

“The transition to renewables represents a once-in-a-generation nation-building opportunity that can create tens of thousands of green, secure jobs, open up new export markets and reinvigorate regional Australia.

“We know from similar energy transition bodies in Europe that if you plan the transition, workers can move into new well-paid jobs, be redeployed through industry-wide pooling or benefit from early retirement.

“There is wide support among workers, unions and businesses for a transition authority and during the Senate inquiry I look forward to hearing directly from communities and Traditional Owners about what they need to make the transition to a zero emissions economy.

“With Labor’s support we can make a National Energy Transition Authority a reality during the life of this parliament. Let’s get it done.”

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