Podcast of 28 May 2018
BE radio presenter Vivien Langford took the bus from Adelaide passing hills resplendent with wind turbines and talks to people involved in this transformation.
DAN VAN HOLST PELEKAAN, the Minster for Energy in the South Australian parliament, is an old friend of this programme. His electorate stretches far into the desert and he has been behind the responsible transition of its workforce into the clean tech industry for years. He paid tribute to the staunch Port Augusta community, Doctors for the Environment Australia and Beyond Zero Emissions for galvanising the REPOWER PORT AUGUSTA project.
BRETT PRENTIS worked for 29 years at the power station. Now he is campaigning for the correct rehabilitation of the ash pits left behind. The Greenpeace report DONE AND DUSTED tells the story and he was on the ABC 7.30 Report. All fair minded people agree it has to be a just transition and the health of residents has been sorely tried. Companies like Alinta and
its subsidiaries need national standards to retire our aging power stations in accordance with world’s best practice.
DR DAVID SHEARMAN tells Vivien about the doctors who researched the lung cancer and asthma rate when the power station was still emitting particulates. He says the lobbying effort they put in should be a blue print for other communities faced with the phase out of old power stations. His submissions to the Senate and the alarm bells he rings for state health departments is exhilarating to hear about.
DAN SPENCER was on the AYCC march from Port Augusta to Adelaide. He tells us about the logistics of community organising and the pleasure that can be had from nudging the transition to clean energy forward. The climate is mutating but the Australian Youth Coalition is fighting back with education and mobilisation.
DANIEL THOMPSON represents SOLAR RESERVE. They are building a new 24 hour solar plant using heliostats and a tower filled with molten salt. Vivien asks him to describe this project, which surely will become a tourist mecca. It will not replace all the power previously produced but listeners will be happy to hear that there are more plants in the offing.
SAM JOHNSON is the Mayor of Port Augusta. There is a colourful portrait of the late Mayor Joy Baluch in his office and he says ministers trembled to meet her, so fierce was her opposition to the power station. He talks about joining forces with the mayors of other sparcely populated towns. They intend to be the Renewable Energy Hub for Australia. With 11 projects in the pipeline and the Green Steel proposed at Whyalla, they are leading the way.
Thank you to all the speakers who made her so welcome. It was a marvellous visit.
The team : Andy Britt, Roger Vize, Kurt Johnson and Vivien Langford