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Thursday, September 17, 2009

22 arrested at power station protest

22 arrested at power station protest


Updated Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:33am AEST. (ABC News: Peta Carlyon)

Hundreds of activists have marched outside Hazelwood power station in southern Australia, demanding it be shut down.

Victorian police arrested 22 climate change protesters at a Latrobe Valley power station on Sunday.

Hundreds of activists marched through police roadblocks at the Hazelwood power station, demanding it be shut down.

They say the brown coal-fired power plant is one of the world's dirtiest, and formed a human wall in a bid to break down fences protecting the site.

Some of the protesters were arrested for trespassing while one person was arrested for assaulting a police officer.

The Switch Off Hazelwood protest started around 11:00am. After a rally and several speeches, police say protesters became more aggressive, with some wanting to jump over the plant's fences.

Louise Morris, a spokeswoman for the activists, says a mass show of civil disobedience is needed to draw attention to climate change.

"People are prepared to be arrested to show that we want a transition now to renewable energy," she said.

Superintendent Neville Taylor says police have had their hands full.

"I can confirm one person has been charged with an offence of assault police," he said. 

Earlier, Victoria's Energy and Resources Minister Peter Batchelor said the State Government was working quickly to change its mix of energy sources.

"There has been an increase in renewable energy. We've put research and development money into low-emission technology and we're also seeing the current construction of low-emission power stations using gas," he said. 

"And of course there's a whole swag of wind farms under construction."






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