Power company AGL have been granted NSW State Government approval to construct the LARGEST OPEN-CYCLE GAS FIRED POWER STATION IN AUSTRALIA (1000MW), on farming land 3km from the populated village of Dalton, on the Southern Tablelands of NSW.
Despite overwhelming public opposition to the project, this development has been granted approval by the NSW Department of Planning & Infrastructure and the NSW Planning Assessment Commission.
The proposal now requires approval by the commonwealth government. There are significant flaws in the AGL URS environmental assessment that present issues that are within the commonwealth jurisdiction.
We demand that these unresolved issues receive comprehensive examination prior to any such approval being granted.
Prime Minister, Julia Gillard highlighted the failure of energy policy in Australia in her recent speech to the Energy Policy Institute: “One quarter of all retail electricity costs – more than $500 a year for a typical family – is spent to meet the costs of peak events that last for less than two days each year in total.”
The proposed AGL Dalton Power Project, is such a “peaking” facility. AGL proposes to invest $1.5 billion in a facility which it claims will only operate for 3% of the year.
The effects of this development will be felt by all consumers. Less costly, environmentally responsible measures that ensure electricity is produced and consumed efficiently, are being ignored by our government.
A gas fired power station such as this, should not be included in the Australian Clean Energy Future campaign. An open cycle gas turbine, like the one proposed for Dalton, produces 85% of the emissions of a black coal fired power station.
No assessment has been provided of the cumulative impact of highly persistent pollutants in harvested rainwater used locally for domestic drinking water.
Those that choose not to subject themselves and their children to industrial noise and chemical exposure by relocating will not be compensated, yet AGL will generate profits for their shareholders out of the hardship and health risks they impose on the residents and tourism industry of the area.
If people are forced to sell their homes and properties to the proponent, we will lose the volume of population necessary to continue our businesses, schools, trade and tourism in the district; the socio/ economic fabric of our towns will be irreparably damaged.
If the power station doesn’t comply with limits of air and noise emissions, it is the community that will bear the costs. If this power station is at all necessary, the proponent should thoroughly investigate other more suitable locations and bear the associated costs of doing so.
The Aboriginal custodians of the land upon which AGL plan to build their power station, have not been consulted regarding significant archeological artifacts discovered on site. The Buru Ngunawal Aboriginal Corporation along with other Aboriginal stakeholders state they have:
“… uncovered numerous other sites containing objects that provide a rich and rewarding spiritual connection that must not be allowed to be destroyed for the sake of a development that could and should be relocated to another region of rural NSW”.
“[we] feel strongly that the proposed area holds a Spiritual connection that must be preserved and protected. The area may not be an Uluru or Kakadu but it is still spiritually significant to us as the Traditional carers. Our Spiritual connection to country requires that we be afforded the proper dignity and respect of being afforded the right to protect that spiritual bond. As we continually state, any planned work to be undertaken in the area that lies within our boundaries will impact and in most cases destroy our rich living cultural heritage”.
This development poses a real and devastating threat to this rural landscape, itʼs air quality, tranquility, safety, history, itʼs people and cultural heritage.
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