ENVIRONMENT groups have slammed a reported $11 million Federal Government grant to upgrade Vales Point power station less than five years after it was bought from the NSW Government for $1 million.
The Mannering Park power station owner Trevor St Baker had "already been a multi-million-dollar beneficiary of government decisions," NSW Nature Conservation Foundation chief executive Chris Gambian said.
"How much free money do Australians have to hand to big fossil fuel energy companies before we realise that there is a cheaper, clean and more reliable energy option?" Mr Gambian said.
The comments were in response to a Sydney media article on Friday said the Federal Government was set to approve the $11 million grant under its Underwriting New Generation Investments Program.
"The Federal Government must withdraw its $11 million grant offer to help coal baron Trevor St Bakerupgrade his Vales Point power station and use the money to support clean energy and storage," Mr Gambian said.
"Every day, over 100 megawatts of clean power is being wasted in western NSW because of a failure to plan sensible upgrades to the grid, and yet the Federal Government is handing millions to a coal-fired power station near Sydney."
Mr Gambian accused the government of "throwing more fuel on the fire" by supporting coal-fired power after catastrophic bushfires, where the intensity and extensive nature of the fires was in part attributed to the impact of global warming.
"The government should have a plan for the orderly closure of coal-fired power stations and their replacement with clean energy," he said.
Mr St Baker, who was a National Party candidate in the 1993 Australian election, bought Vales Point power station from the NSW Government for $1 million in 2015 and made $113 million profit in just one year in 2017-18.