September 28, 2016

Crowds at AGL’s AGM demand a faster fossil fuel exit strategy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sydney September 28, 2016:  Over 150 people protested outside AGL Energy’s annual general meeting in Sydney today, calling on the company to quit fossil fuels by 2025, as the board faced questions over its environmental record, its CEO’s remuneration and its record as Australia’s worst climate polluter.

Representatives from communities affected by AGL projects also went inside the AGM with proxy votes to ask questions and put shareholders on notice. Outside, an alternative annual report was distributed, highlighting AGL’s bad environmental record

“AGL presents itself as a clean energy company, but it has a dirty secret. It is Australia’s biggest carbon polluter,  emitting 38 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. That is equivalent to the pollution produced by almost half of all the cars in Australia. ” said Josh Creaser, campaigner.

“By its 2017 annual general meeting, we want AGL to provide a clear timeline on how it can transition from dirty fossil fuel powered energy to 100% renewables by 2025.”

AGL has been beset by backlash over its appalling environmental record, including confirmation today that toxic emissions from its Bayswater power station had increased in level and intensity since AGL took over the plant. Details here

Wollar resident, Michael Fetch, whose property is overshadowed by the Wilpinjong Mine that feeds AGL’s Bayswater power station, was among the speakers at the rally.

“The Wilpinjong Mine has had devastating impacts upon our once vibrant rural community in the Wollar district,” Michael said. “I came to Sydney to ask AGL what it has planned with regard to a transition away from coal fired power. I also want to know when this madness of expansion after expansion of Wilpinjong mine is going to stop.”

Representatives of the Camden community, the site of AGL’s coal seam gas project will also attend.

“AGL have repeatedly refused to meet with the Camden community to accept our petition which over 10,000 people have signed opposing coal seam gas in Camden.” said Melinda Wilson from Australian Mothers Against Gas. “This demonstrates AGLs lack of consultation with the Camden community. We want AGL to immediately announce a schedule to start decommissioning the wells, for us waiting until 2023 is just not acceptable.” Wilson continued.

Wendy Farmer, of the Latrobe community group Voices of the Valley said:  “AGL is set to be the winner with the imminent closure of Hazelwood. I’m here to tell the AGL board that our community has a plan for transition, and ask whether AGL will work with the Latrobe Valley Community to support a just and timely transition.”

The rally, co-hosted by 350 Australia and Stop CSG Sydney and supported by GetUp included  Raymond ‘Bubbly’ Weatherall — Gamilaraay man, Gomeroi Native Title applicant;

Julie Lyford — Groundswell Gloucester; Dr Helen Redmond — Doctors for the Environment; Michael Fetch —  Wollar resident; Melinda Wilson — Australian Mothers Against Gas; Joseph Zane Sikulu — 350 Pacific . It featured images of similar protests from around the country taken in the past week.




For interviews contact: Josh Creaser on 0410 745 005

For media support: Louise Fraser 0438 993 068