The Latrobe Valley stands to benefit from job and investment opportunities under a Federal Government plan to enable Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects to be funded by the nation’s clean energy bank.
The Coalition will today introduce legislation to allow the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to support investment in CCS technology.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said the Latrobe Valley had an abundance of brown coal available for power generation and CCS technology could reduce emissions by up to 90 per cent.
“The Latrobe Valley is proud of its coal heritage, but it can also have a future in coal as a hub of excellence for lower emissions power generation,” Mr Chester said.
“CCS provides greater opportunity for companies to invest in a lower emissions energy future. Removing this barrier to investment from the CEFC demonstrates the Coalition is serious about a neutral approach to our nation’s energy policy.
“It is well documented the Latrobe Valley has a natural advantage with its substantial coal resources and proximity to potential storage sites. I look forward to supporting this legislation when it comes to Parliament.”
Mr Chester said the legislation would only succeed if the Labor Party supported it in the Senate.
“Labor is running out of excuses for silently standing by as its friends in the Greens wage their hate campaigns against coal and coal workers,” Mr Chester said.
“Labor used to be the party that advocated for CCS technology, but is now conflicted because their city MPs rely on Greens preferences to get elected. We’ve seen this already in their attitude towards the Heyfield timber mill.
“So if Labor is serious about helping the Latrobe Valley benefit from a cleaner energy future, then it can start by supporting our efforts to allow the CEFC to support investment in CCS.”
Mr Chester said CCS would complement investment in wind, solar and storage, including Pumped Hydro.
“Making CCS available for investment under CEFC will give investors the confidence to back in the technology and create jobs in our regional communities,” he said.