MELBOURNE, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- The Premier of Australia's Victoria State Daniel Andrews has appointed himself head of a taskforce as the state prepares for the closure of one of its biggest power station.
Owners of the Hazelwood power station, a brown coal station which has been described as the dirtiest power station in Australia, are expected to announce the plant will close in March 2017.
The closure of Hazelwood would have a significant economic impact on the Latrobe Valley region of Victoria where it employs 1,000 workers directly or indirectly, paying approximately 75 million U.S. dollars in wages in the area every year.
Andrews has established a Cabinet taskforce to put together a "significant economic growth plan" for the region when Hazelwood closes its doors.
Lily D'Ambrosio, Victoria's environment minister, said the government was committed to providing a sustainable future for the Latrobe Valley.
"I think we can say that some decision will be coming down, whether that's for a partial closure or indeed a full closure of the Hazelwood plant," D'Ambrosio told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Monday.
"The fact is, through the Premier's stewardship, we've been working very diligently on a package of assistance for the valley... one that is focused on the great capabilities that exist in the people of the valley and their surrounding community."
At its maximum capacity Hazelwood provides 22 percent of Victoria's energy while also producing 15 percent of Victoria's greenhouse gas emissions and 3 percent of the nation's emissions.
Michael O'Brien, a spokesman for the Victorian Opposition Liberal Party, said the government would need a plan to ensure Victoria's energy security.
"If Hazelwood was to close down overnight Victoria would be in grave trouble in terms of energy security," O'Brien told the ABC.
"What we know is that there is a great deal of uncertainty about whether Victoria can absorb the shutdown of Hazelwood and also what happens to these jobs."
Josh Frydenberg, Australia's federal environment minister, flew to Paris in October to negotiate with ENGIE, the French company that owns 72 percent of Hazelwood, over the plant's impending closure.