ROUGHLY 70 METRES off the ground, hanging from a cable in the pre-dawn darkness, Chloe Aldenhoven was bitterly cold. She was struck by a mix of awe and extreme relief when the sun finally lifted over the horizon in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley. Only ten hours to go, she thought.
The day before it had been 37 degrees in the shade. Chloe and her friend Dominic O’Dwyer were on standby hiding under a bridge, waiting for a signal that the coast was clear for them to scale Yallourn power station’s high fence. Once inside they would climb a 120-metre cooling tower and occupy it for up to two days. The ultimate aim of the action was to publicise the dangers of coal: the plan was to drop several banners with key climate messages down the tower’s façade. Says Chloe:
The suspense was overwhelming, knowing that we had so very little time to get over some pretty big hurdles, and that on behalf of our whole group [Quit Coal Victoria] we would only get one go at pulling off an action like this. It was Dom’s twenty-fifth birthday, and we’ ll never forget it !
Chloe is an active member of quitcoal.org.au