Latrobe City is uniquely placed in the Victorian economy. With 90 percent of the state’s power generation occurring in the region, brown coal electricity generation accounts for around 20 percent of Latrobe City’s Gross Regional Product, and approximately 20 percent of all jobs are directly or indirectly tied to the electricity sector.
As the Australian economy seeks to decarbonise, we understand that brown coal based power generation will not provide the opportunities in the future that it has in the past. However, a carbon constrained world presents new opportunities for Latrobe City to diversify its economy, by attracting new industries as well as capitalising on our existing strengths, expanding existing businesses, services and skills in the region.
Positioning Latrobe City for a Low Carbon Emissions Future
Council has developed a range of policies and actions to ensure that we are ready for a low carbon future. In 2010 Council worked collaboratively with the community and a range of experts to prepare Positioning Latrobe City for a Low Carbon Emission Future(PDF, 223KB), which was adopted by Council on 6 April 2010.
Through this policy Latrobe City Council has identified three themes that underpin our approach:
- Pursuing and realising opportunities - A smooth and successful transition to a low carbon emissions future will require Latrobe City and the broader Gippsland region to continue to grow and develop existing business as well as harness new opportunities, which arise as a consequence of Government emission reduction schemes. In this policy theme, actions are identified that will allow Latrobe City Council to capture opportunities and enable business innovation and growth.
- Contingency planning - Contingency planning involves identifying threats along with possible outcomes and identifying measures to avoid or manage detrimental impacts. The policy actions proposed in this theme will allow Council, Governments and other stakeholders to put in place the necessary safeguards and plans to ensure that they are able to respond quickly and provide support to the community during the transition period.
- Working together - Latrobe City Council recognises that the scope of the adjustment task is beyond the capacity of Council acting alone. It intends to work in partnership with its community, businesses, industry, neighbouring municipalities, State and Federal Governments, and others to proactively plan for the smooth and successful transition of the Latrobe Valley region to a low carbon economy.
Councils progress and achievements since the policies adoption in 2010 were considered at an Ordinary Council Meeting on 12 May 2014. The full Consolidated Progress and Achievements 2014 report can be found in the report back documents below:
Council is working with a range of partners across Gippsland, and with the Victorian and Australian governments, to transition the community. A variety of related links are presented below.
Social Impact Analysis
Latrobe City Council is keen to undertake a formal Social Impact Analysis of the impacts of carbon pricing on the Latrobe City community. We have commissioned a brief to scope a comprehensive methodology to undertake such an analysis, and are exploring funding opportunities to undertake the report. The project brief for the analysis is attached. Social Impact Analysis LCC(PDF, 15MB)
Emissions Reduction Fund Green Paper submission
Following resolution at the 17 February 2014 Ordinary Meeting of Council, a submission to the federal government’s Emissions Reduction Fund Green Paper was made on 20 February 2014.
Council’s submission provides the Australian Government with a background of our proactive work in this area and welcomes the opportunity to engage with the government. Developing and maintaining strong relationships with government at federal and state level is vital as we plan the region’s transition to a low carbon emissions future.
Council’s submission considers the need to ensure investor confidence is maintained so that new and existing investment decisions are not adversely impacted under the government’s climate change policy. The submission encourages the balanced use of brown coal and supports low emission coal technology research and development efforts as well as carbon farming initiatives.
Click here to view Latrobe City Council’s Emission Reduction Fund Green Paper(PDF, 1MB) Submission.
Advanced Lignite Demonstration Program (ALDP) Announcements
In 2012, The Commonwealth Government and the Victorian State Government sought proposals from parties interested in developing pre-commercial demonstration scale, coal upgrading processes for raw lignite.
In 2014, three advanced coal projects designed to deliver cleaner fuel, jobs and investment to the Latrobe Valley were announced, and include:
- Coal Energy Australia has been granted $30 million for the development of a $143 million demonstration plant producing fertiliser, oil and high value coal used in steelmaking.
- Ignite Energy Resources has been granted $20 million for the development of an $84.3 million pre-commercial plant producing upgraded coal products for local or export markets and synthetic oil which can be refined into fuel sources such as diesel and petrol.
- Shanghai Electric Australia Power & Energy Development Pty Limited (SEAPED) has been granted $25 million for the development of a $119 million demonstration plant producing briquettes and a cogeneration unit at the AGL-owned Loy Yang A Power Station in the Latrobe Valley.
For more information refer to the official media release.(PDF, 935KB)