THE afternoon session of speakers has begun at Point Wolstoncroft at a national summit convened to discuss transition planning and pollution issues around ageing coal-fired power stations.
About 200 people from coal-power regions along Australia's east coast have gathered on the shore of Lake Macquarie this weekend for the two-day seminar.
The Power and Pollution: National Community Summit has been organised by the Hunter Community Environment Centre (HCEC), at Point Wolstoncroft Sport and Recreation Centre.
Among the speakers to take the microphone this afternoon will be Bronya Lipski, of Environmental Justice Australia.
At 2.20pm, Ms Lipski will explain why laws should be strengthened to protect community and environmental health from pollution from coal-fired power stations as part of a "just transition" away from coal-fired power.
At 2.50pm, Lisa Evans, a senior attorney at Earthjustice (USA) is scheduled to talk about the consequences of poor coal ash dam regulation.
And at 3.20pm, Hunter Community Environment Centre's Paul Winn will present new research into the impacts, liability and opportunities that coal ash dams represent.
A panel discussion and Q&A will be held at 4.10pm today.
On Sunday, local and interstate community participants will take centre stage.
Summit organiser and HCEC coordinator Jo Lynch said the summit was especially relevant for Lake Macquarie and the Central Coast.
"Communities around coal-power stations must play a lead role in the transition of our energy sector," Ms Lynch said.
"This summit will resource people from key coal-energy regions with knowledge and tools to positively shape the transition of their communities.
"Comprehensive environmental remediation is our priority for the transition, but we're excited to have expert speakers from around Australia on board to add to the broader picture of the economic, governmental, industry and importantly community aspects of a just transition process."