Alternative site for the power-station/data centre – Hume after all.

By 5 December 2008 59

The Chief Minister is having a little hissy fit over being forced to compromise by no longer holding a majority in the Assembly.

In particular he’s petulantly noting that there is a site in Hume proper where the accursed TRE data centre with power generation could go.

    “At the request of the consortium behind the data centre the Government has identified an alternative site, in Hume. The taskforce has deemed the site, Block 20 Section 23 Hume, the next most suitable after the Mugga Lane site.

    Mr Stanhope said he was deeply disappointed that a billion-dollar project had been exposed to such risk by the Liberals and Greens for purely political purposes and he hoped the investment in the ACT economy could be salvaged by the Government.

    The land would need to be made available to the consortium by way of special legislation, which would allow a finalisation of a new development application within the same timeframe as the current DA – by March 2009.

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59 Responses to
Alternative site for the power-station/data centre – Hume after all.
housebound 11:49 am
05 Dec 08

Poor, poor JS.

Imagine it: politicians politicising something that was founded in political goings on from the beginning.

Imagine polticising it further by briefing only one oppositions Party (the Greens) and not the other (Libs).

And then imagine the opposition Parties keeping an election promise about the site – just how politicised can it get?

More seriously, though, does anyone know where to access the report?

poptop 11:53 am
05 Dec 08

It’s going to be the first of many sprays is suspect.

The important part is the warning about not standing in the way of his ‘Special Legislation’ that appears to be specifically to get around all the usual boring ‘due process’ stuff.

poptop 11:54 am
05 Dec 08

P00t – that should be * I suspect*

cranky 12:33 pm
05 Dec 08

I am pleased to be vindicated regarding my concern for the auction of this site, held on 8/8/08.

It apparently didn’t sell, much to Sonic’s chagrin I am sure, and is still now available for the data centre.

Karma, pure karma.

Thumper 12:36 pm
05 Dec 08

He really is having trouble adjusting from Ruler of the Universe to coworker in tin pot local council.

housebound 12:41 pm
05 Dec 08

How much of a move is the Hume site – will it make enough of a difference to keep the CPR people happy?

ant 12:43 pm
05 Dec 08

Purely political purposes? Like, um, representing the interests and stated wishes of the um you know, RESIDENTS?

funny freudian slip there, I think.

Digga 12:54 pm
05 Dec 08

Fast-track the move including power station, to avoid the very planning processes he has been espousing for months… and strong-arming the other parties to break the rules too? Surely not!

As for relocation, it’s about 1.5km further North and importantly would be on industrial land and not rural Broadacre (as in the Tuggeranong side of Mugga Lane).

What a donkey. Call his bluff. He can’t proceed on Broadacre anyway – it’s unlawful.

Digga 1:03 pm
05 Dec 08

P.S. CPR covered this “fast-track” concept as being dangerous/against the principles of planning i.e. you don’t just move a power station without site-specific studies and the planning process being followed to protect the community.

They sent a letter to the Liberals and Greens on 14 November:

Digga 1:07 pm
05 Dec 08

ABC have chimed in and have a map provided by the ACT Government showing how much further away from residential suburbs the power station will be:

Digga 1:25 pm
05 Dec 08

And finally, let’s not forget that the proponents themselves stated they cannot consider this Hume site due to flood risk, gas turbine exhausts affecting the Canberra Airport flight paths etc.:

However Technical Real Estate director Andrew Campbell says the Hume site was not suitable to develop for a number of reasons.

He says the land was too small, under a flight path and too close to the Monaro Highway.

“The other thing about that site is that it’s low-lying and subject to a one in 100 flood zone,” he said.

“It’s a risk that data centre occupiers won’t allow when you’re developing a site for data centre use.”

imhotep 1:45 pm
05 Dec 08

Although some might think the discovery of another suitable site is simply a victory for democracy, I think we should spare a thought for the tragedy that is playing out in Stanhope’s mind.

He pulled out his main game for this one, yet didn’t get his way in the new Assembly.

Surely even Prince Jon must realise that indeed, the Kingdom is lost.

With Katy waiting in the wings keener than a Labrador pup, I wonder how long Sonic will stay.
(Is that diplomatic post in Liechtenstein still open?)

XK140 1:50 pm
05 Dec 08

Stanhope is just maintaining his dummy-spit blame-game trying to regain political points with his own party and the community at the expense of the Liberals and Greens. However because Greens were so stupid to support a Stanhope minority Government, they will keep getting it in the neck from Stanhope for another 3 1/2 years when he may again relise that he cannot keep treating the community and opposition parties/cross-benches as irrelevant fools. What a farce. Blame the Liberals and Greens for political interference as a pretext to bully them into allowing him to continue his own political interference, that he has done so since HIS Day 1 selection of an inappropriate broadacre site, but now he wants to legislate to avoid due-planning-process appropriate to this alternative site-selection for his mates colossal fossil-fuel polluting power-station, but lets call it a co-generation/data centre so no one notices.

caf 1:53 pm
05 Dec 08

It seems to me that both sides in this grubby dispute are equally happy to sing the praises of due process when it suits them, and to end-run around it when it doesn’t.

CanberraMan 2:09 pm
05 Dec 08

I just find it unbelievable that such an innovative technology (co-generation, sometimes called combined heat and power or CHP in Europe and the UK) which is supported by the clean energy council, and indeed Greenpeace is vilified so heavily

futto 2:29 pm
05 Dec 08

so it’s just moving to the other side of the road? haha. This feels like a script from Yes Minister!

Digga 3:05 pm
05 Dec 08

CanberraMan: It is the proximity to residential areas and the attempt to site the project on Broadacre (rural buffer) land in Tuggeranong vs. Industrial land in Hume that kicked this whole thing off.

It’s unlawful for ACTPLA to reach the decision to approve it on the controversial Tuggeranong site that has forced the Chief Minister to concede.

He’s just stating it’s due to political interference in an attempt to transfer his own liability to others; he facilitated the entire debacle around the Broadacre (vs. industrial) site from the word go, thus flying in the face of our Territory Plan’s controls for providing protective buffer zones and wildlife corridors.

miz 3:31 pm
05 Dec 08

The CM is devious yet politically ingenious in an evil and vengeful way. This new site is a mere stone’s throw from the other, except it is now closer to Isaacs (Woden). IMHO, this sort of development should be far away from people’s homes.

As I stated before, it’s not the data centre, it’s the power station that goes with it that is the issue. Calling it a data centre (CM’s spin) is disingenuous – these are harmless warehouses, and there are several already in Canberra. A power station, on the other hand, is not harmless.

I want to know the list of sites to choose from. I will be irate if they are all Southside.

miz 3:32 pm
05 Dec 08

The Greens and Libs are going to have to continue the fight for their residents. “Remember Meg Lees and the Democrats”.

p1 3:39 pm
05 Dec 08

I seems to me that the two locations are not that far apart.

Digga 4:27 pm
05 Dec 08

Here is the ACT Government’s own pic released to the media:

housebound 4:28 pm
05 Dec 08

Well, the Greens are claiming it as a win for the new ALP-Greens party:
(see the end of the article).

I can’t quite see why the Greens had to give government to achieve this, but apparantly they think they did. Makes them look like Labor-lite to me. I often wonder if the whole Greens-ALP stoush over the data centre was concocted just to make it look like they weren’t the same? (Libs opposed the data centre, and Greens therefore had to avoid being wedged)

True committment from the Greens to the open and transparent government they say they support would see more than them telling the great unwashed (us) to be grateful for them giving the crown back to JS.

housebound 4:29 pm
05 Dec 08

PS: where is that report? Do only Labor-Greens get to see it?

welkin31 5:12 pm
05 Dec 08

I wondered what readers know about a data centre at Mitchell, it was mentioned on TV news Wednesday night. Anyone know of a map ? Is there a power station too ?

Whatsup 5:20 pm
05 Dec 08

welkin31 said :

I wondered what readers know about a data centre at Mitchell, it was mentioned on TV news Wednesday night. Anyone know of a map ? Is there a power station too ?

There are data centers all over the place without gas turbine power stations attached. It’s worth asking the question however don’t be surprised if its just a data center like the several that are around Canberra.

deezagood 6:13 pm
05 Dec 08

The planning processes exist for a reason – fast tracking ANY building approval is a huge mistake. Political interference in due process is exactly what started this mess in the first place – two wrongs don’t make a right. Honestly – this really IS like an episode of ‘Yes Minister’!

Digga 9:12 pm
05 Dec 08

welkin31: The Mitchell data centre is just data centres being retro-fitted in to existing warehouse buildings in Mitchell’s industrial zone. It’s a 7,000 square metre facility. The Canberra Technology City data centre includes a gas-fired power station. It is the first of two sites – the other to be in Belconnen at West Macgregor alongside the new residential suburbs.

The one that was destined for Broadacre in Tuggeranong (now proposed to move to Hume as discussed today) is a 20,000 square metre facility. The proponent of the Mitchell data centre (Tretechnic – Mr Kelly) stated that Canberra “doesn’t need” a 20,000 square metre facility! His 7,000 square metre facility in Mitchell is also 30% greener than traditional data centres and they achieve that without having to have an on-site gas-fired power station.

bd84 9:39 pm
05 Dec 08

me thinks mr stanhope acts before more reports against the project are released that will give him a good kicking.. he seems to be doing that a lot lately.

Digga 8:18 am
06 Dec 08

Is it really possible that the rumour about the Govt having to bail out ActewAGL be true?

TransACT are going to split off from them and the 2 will end up as competitors in the data centre market?

ActewAGL are losing $1m a month, so desperately need assistance hence Stanhope digging deep in his pockets to throw additional money at them and act as their lawyer to get this thing through “whatever it takes”, even negating the controls and protections of the planning impact track in the “process”?

And what about the timeframe – they don’t need fast-tracking. They’re private consortium developers. They should know and expect risks when building a gas-fired power station; drop it and there’d be no drama! Put extra money in to solar thermal to stimulate that market and off-set your electricity requirements from the grid; oh, of course they can’t – they don’t have that money so need a “discount data centre” up and running ASAP.

wheresmypowerstation 8:39 am
06 Dec 08

Ha, I was looking forward to having the power station located next door.

It would have been poetic justice for a suburb inundated with barking dogs and littered with dog-shit.

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