Brown coal protests end

Activists protesting Victoria’s new commitment to brown coal have ended their demonstrations.

It came after the Victorian Government announced it had begun a strategy to develop its massive brown coal reserves.

According draft cabinet submissions it will look to "increase industry interest in participating in the proposed allocation of brown coal.

Victoria is home to an abundance of brown coal occurring close to the earth’s surface, one of the largest and lowest cost energy sources in the world.

The Victorian Department of Primary Industries (DPI) says there is a proven resource potential of 430 billion tonnes of coal located in the state, which is a significant proportion of the world’s stores of brown coal.

IBISWorld figures show Victoria has a quarter of the world’s brown coal reserves, 90 per cent of which are in the LatrobeValley.

However, this announcement quickly drew the criticism of the Greens, environmental, and conservation groups.

"The premier, Ted Baillieu, is an environmental vandal and must be stopped," he said.

"I will be seeking advice as to what can be done federally to stop this environmental madness.

"Scientists have told us we need to be decarbonising the economy by the middle of the century, meanwhile, Ted Baillieu has got his foot on the accelerator in the other direction," Greens MP Adam Bandt said.

Earlier this week six protests locked themselves out the front of Ted Baillieu’s office to protest his strategy.

Two were forcibly removed by police while the remaining for voluntarily removed their locks after being granted a meeting with Baillieu’s chief of staff, the ABC reports.

One protestor, Scott Bilby, said Baillieu’s advisors seemed receptive.

"Ultimately we would have loved to have spoken to Premier Baillieu. But perhaps he was never going to speak to us, I don’t really know," he said.

"This is all part of the process of just getting the message out to the people of Victoria."

The activists were demanding the Government halt all brown coal mining expansion plans.


Image: ABC

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.