From the Office of the Minister for Energy and Minerals

Thursday, 9 March 1995


Contracts have been awarded for the massive job of clearing the old Yallourn Power Station site in the Latrobe Valley, Energy Minister, Jim Plowman, announced today.

Mr Plowman said that a consortia comprising Australian Defence Industries Ltd and Bains Harding Ltd has been awarded the $25 million site clearance contract, following the evaluation of submissions from several major companies.

This project will be the largest of its type ever undertaken in Australia, with approximately 80 full times jobs being created during the two years it will take to complete, Mr Plowman said.

ADI/Bains Harding presented the most effective proposal which met all the strict requirements of the Environment Protection Authority and the Occupational Health and Safety Authority.

Both authorities will monitor the clearance project to ensure there are no risks to either the public or the workforce during the removal of hazardous materials from the site.

Mr Plowman said the site clearance was necessary for practical and financial reasons.

Major industrial plant and buildings remain expensive to maintain in a safe and secure manner long after they have ceased operation, Mr Plowman said.

These costs increase enormously when the buildings contain hazardous materials.

The decision to remove the buildings was made only after broad community consultation and following appropriate processes with the Historic Buildings Council (HBC).

During a hearing conducted by the HBC, it was noted that there was a lack of a realistic alternative use for the buildings, the difficulties and dangers of public access to the buildings and the huge upkeep costs to Victorians in maintaining the unused site.

The HBC recognised the important role of Yallourn Power Station in this States history and a number of measures are being undertaken to ensure that this heritage is appropriately recorded, Mr Plowman said.

Among the items to be retained include plans of the station, recordings of station output, photographs, old contracts and files and plant items.

Written, oral and video histories of the plant are in production and a scale model of the station will be built.

Media inquiries: Tony Cudmore 03 651 5799 or 015 681 988

Editors note:

Yallourn Power Station was a complex of five power stations built progressively from the 1920s to the 1960s.

The first two stations, Yallourn A and B, were substantially demolished approximately 25 years ago. Yallourn C, D and E stations were built during the 1950s and early 1960s. The station provided the bulk of Victorias power until Hazelwood Power Station became operational in the mid 1960s.

Yallourn E station, the last operational station in the old Yallourn power complex, ceased generating power in January 1989.

It should be noted that this contract does not include the separate Yallourn W Power Station, which continues to operate efficiently and is expected to do so for at least another 20 years.