Life Beyond Coal; Can a tiny Australian coal town reinvent itself? – Earth Island Journal

coal.jpgThe Hazelwood power station and coal mine are just visible from David Briggs’ property up in the mountains that surround the town of Morwell. He sweeps an outstretched arm across the valley and points, in case I miss it. His old fluorescent mining jacket hangs loosely on his frail limbs.

Morwell is a small town encircled by open-cut coal mines and power stations in the Australian state of Victoria, less than a hundred miles east of Melbourne. A few miles to the north of it stand the massive exhaust stacks of the Yallourn power plant. Farther east lies the Loy Yang plant. The Hazelwood power plant and mine complex pushes right up against the town’s southern border; only a four-lane freeway and a thin strip of grass separate the mine from some homes. All power lines from here lead to Melbourne.

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