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Budget handouts for coal baron undermine climate goals

The Federal Government has included an undisclosed sum in the 2020-21 budget to help coal baron and Coalition donor Trevor St Baker maintain the Vales Point coal-fired power station. [1]

“Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s $213 billion dollar deficit this year pales in comparison to the climate debt he is leaving for future generations by backing coal and gas,” Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said.

“The federal government has no business funding a privately-owned coal-fired power station.

“Bushfires and heatwaves are already becoming more deadly and subsidising an old coal-fired power station is just throwing fuel on the fire.”

Mr St Baker, the owner of Vales Point coal-fired power station on the Central Coast applied for taxpayer subsidies under the federal government’s Underwriting New Generation Investments Program. 

“The government should have a plan for the orderly closure of coal-fired power stations and their replacement with clean energy,” Mr Gambian said.  

“Subsidising coal power simply scares off investors in clean power sources like solar and wind backed-up with batteries.”

Mr St Baker has a record of gaining from government decisions. He bought Vales Point power station from the NSW Government for $1 million in 2015 and made $113 million in profit on the deal in 2017-18. [2]  

Mr St Baker is a regular political donor and a former National Party electoral candidate. 

REFERENCES

[1] Budget Paper 2, page 117,  2020-21 

[2] 23-1-19, Newcastle Herald, The man who bought Vales Point power station from the NSW Government for a song has new plans for the site 

 

 

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