Despite pledging â€œpolitics can be differentâ€ and higher standards of transparency and accountability, Greens candidate in Brunswick Cyndi Dawes has desperately tried to hide her personal and direct involvement in the Yallourn brown coal-fired power station.
Dawes has been campaigning in the inner-city Melbourne electorate of Brunswick as a strident opponent of using coal for electricity yet appears to have personally profited from coal for many years.
A member of the VEXNEWS Investigations Unit has been investigating and has filed this urgent report:
Cyndi Dawes, Greens candidate for the seat of Brunswick, has been a director and shareholder of Simocynd Pty Ltd since its inception in February 2003.
Simocynd, as recently as 2008, on its website (which has since been removed with archived copies obtained by VEXNEWS) proudly stated that Dawes has acted as an employee relations consultant for energy giant TXU (formerly Texas Utilities) who operated the Yallourn brown coal fired power station prior to its sale to Singapore Power in April 2004.
Carbon Monitoring For Action reports that Yallourn releases 11Â½ million tonnes of greenhouse gases each year as a result of burning coal â€“ a more than 20% increase in emissions since 2000.
Simocynd, on their website in 2003, confirm Dawesâ€™ worked with TXU whilst they operated Yallourn. During 2003, TXU reported 63 environmental incidents, including one incident where 200 litres of transformer oil leaked into a drain and made its way to a nearby lake.
Notwithstanding Dawesâ€™ employee consultancy work, TXU have been found by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission to have permitted a worker to work unconscionably long hours with TXUâ€™s approval, which resulted in a non-fatal electrocution incident in Euroa.
In August 2000, TXU resolved to extend the inspection period of power lines in bushfire prone areas, even though in early 2000 a TXU pole fire caused a bushfire near the Philip Island Penguin Reserve. In 2003 alone, 77 ground fires were identified as being associated with TXU assets or activities.