Socialist Alliance in Adelaide has played an active role in the campaign to replace Port Augusta's ageing coal-fired power stations with concentrating solar thermal power towers.
The Northern and Playford B power stations are located about four hours north of Adelaide at the gateway to the Flinders Ranges. They burn dirty brown coal and are among the most emissions intensive power plants in Australia. The Climate Emergency Action Network of South Australia (CLEAN) has been working with Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) and a range of other groups to build a campaign to Repower Port Augusta.
Several Socialist Alliance members are active in CLEAN and were participants in the community engagement visits to Port Augusta that occurred during 2011.
Activities included doorknocking, street stalls and liaison with the local businesses and the council. These trips culminated in a highly successful public meeting in Port Augusta on October 29, which was attended by more than 100 locals and generated substantial media interest.
Socialist Alliance also supported the September 24 Moving Planet rally in Adelaide which had “Solar Thermal for Port Augusta” as its central demand. Featuring a moving solar thermal tower, the rally attracted about 200 people.
In all of these activities, Socialist Alliance members have played key roles as organisers, speakers, strategists, writers and media spokespeople. Green Left Weekly has also followed the story publishing regular articles on the progress of the campaign.
The Adelaide Activist Centre has been greatly utilised by the Repower Port Augusta campaign throughout 2011. It has been used for training sessions, local meetings, national strategy sessions, prop and banner construction, storage and administrative work. This has been a great way to bring new people into contact with the Centre, as well as providing practical support for the struggle to create iconic, renewable energy facilities in South Australia.