28 April 2008

Dirty Energy Power Plant in Canberra

| deezagood
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Readers may be interested to learn that the Canberra energy company ActewAGL (which has the ACT Chief Minister and Deputy as voting shareholders) is planning to build a 2 billion dollar gas turbine operated power plant, just 600 metres from a residential suburb. This type/size of plant will emit approximately 95 million cubic metres (38,000 Olympic swimming pools) of poisonous exhaust fumes into the atmosphere every day. Aside from the constant whining of the gas turbines, the main concern is the amount of Nitrogen Dioxide that will be blown over our community (our research indicates that primarily Isaacs, Swinger Hill and Wanniasa will be affected).

Even in low levels this toxin causes increased bronchial reactivity in asthmatics, decreased lung function and increased risk of respiratory infections. For this reason, these plants are usually located in rural areas, far away from local communities.

These gas plants use dirty energy (the only dirtier energy is black coal); hardly in keeping with the federal government’s promise to reduce greenhouse emissions. Where is the proposal for clean energy such as hydro, wind and solar?

ActewAGL have ‘sold’ the development as a mean of supplying power for a ‘data storage centre’, but we estimate that the centre (which is basically a ruse to enable the power plant to get the green light) will require about 33 MW, leaving an additional 177MW for ActewAGL to sell back to the Australian Power Grid. To accommodate this power plant, the government has surreptitiously re-zoned local land (currently a nature reserve and horse agistment areas).

Where other governments act to protect the health and well-being of their citizens, ours re-zones land to enable dirty energy power plants to be built 600 metres from homes; we are so lucky to live in the ACT.

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VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy9:58 am 06 Jun 08

Sorry, should read “dissociates slightly”.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy9:56 am 06 Jun 08

All rain is slightly acidic, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere dissolves into the the rain as it falls and dissociates slight.
Nitrous dioxide is a fact of burning anything.
Low frequency noise typically won’t (or can’t) be heard.
Too close? Decided by who?

More typical hot air dressed up as fact.

The FACTS are,
Creates acid rain.
Nitrous Dioxide.
Low Frequency noise.
Is too close to an urban environment ( irrespective of home values! )
50% of ACTEWAGL is owned by Singapore Power, therefor it maybe correct to summise that for the people of Canberra there is no choice when it comes to deciding what source their power is supplied from.
Yes, there are alternatives but do we have a choice? I think not!!!
Nothing like a monopoly on power supply.
Whatever happened to competition?

josephbloggsjr8:14 am 02 May 08

As I was having difficulty finding all the information & “facts” I needed about this power station, I put up links to all the important documentation at:


Hope this helps.

Ingeegoodbee, go top your kids. Then do yourself.

I don’t live near there and I still don’t think it’s a good idea.

Ingeegoodbee8:34 pm 30 Apr 08

The site at Hume that ACTEW are proposing to build this essential community facility has been earmarked for exactly this sort of development since at least 2000. If we all take a deep breath and a little reality check we’ll understand that there are no significant threats to public health and well being – in the same way that the world diddn’t end when the GDE got built or the sky diddn’t fall when the redundant schools were closed. Sure there’ll always be a handful of dumb-ar$e butt-fuks who genuinely believe that they are so special that they have a right to expect the rest of society to revolve around them, but when it comes down to any objective assessment of the facts, these whinging ballbag-suckers end up revealed as the lonely little cry-babies they are.

If you’r happy to personally pick up the difference in lost economic gain then feel free to respond – otherwise you can just shut the fuk up and go crawl back under your rock.

ANd Tuggeranong already has an air pollution problem in Winter, due to wood fires, and the air sitting in the valley.

This idea just seems like a dud for heaps of reasons.

I hope it’s not another one of these hare-brained schemes they invest millions in, only to give up on once it turns out to be a disaster (like the hospital pay parking).

Gungahlin Al6:20 pm 30 Apr 08

Putting aside a pretty abusive thread all round (in the traditional RA way…) I am amazed that the ACT govt is considering a large CO2 producing power station for Canberra (or anywhere).

“gas fired electricity generation produces approximately 21-43% less CO2 equivalent emissions of that produced from black coal electricity generation.”
That means it produces 57-79% as much CO2 as coal power. In my books (and counting in margins of error) that equals almost as much. And that it 57-79% too much.
This day and age, with what we know now, and the environmentally enlightened ACT Govt is considering adding into it??

ACT the “exemplar for the nation”? Yeah right.

I’m curious just how much of the CM’s much-vaunted climate strategy gains this one power station will wipe out?

Solar PV and solar thermal is how we should be investing.
And I think the data centre is just a furphy to get this thing up anyway…

Imagine if you lived on Outrim Avenue in Calwell and this power station was to be built on the round-about of the intersection of Ashley and Isabella Drives?

Shitting yourself now?

Mael: There’s already a couple of data centres that have been T4 accredited to various levels of sensitivity (I can’t 100% verify TS/S, but HP is absolutely no problem).

The trend is towards ‘document management’ type systems where users _can’t_ delete data nowadays, and redundancy redundancy redundancy on server farms. Far greater auditing ability, too.

Just to side-track a bit: You live ‘near the shit factory’ though? I’m guessing the Lower Molonglo one?

@moff – I never said anything about inhouse data servers. I just can’t see the ADF putting the list of current serving personnel on an outside hard drive, they have a hard enough time keeping sensitive material out of computers at the qantas club, as an example.

And given that government takes up in my estimation at least 90% of the computing power in Canberra at the moment, I can’t fathom why we need data centres.

Similarly, I can’t see sanity records putting their cd’s in store database there either, for the same reasons I mentioned before about in house processing power.

I just can’t fathom why we need data centres. Happy for you to chip in anytime with something substantial, rather than snide personal attacks, sunshine.

I am surprised that the power plant isn’t being built at Snowtown…

Mælinar: “I can’t fathom why we need data centres anyway. The 80’s are a distant memory (those who were in IT at the time will remember the sudden loss of all data incidents), and individual PC’s have more than enough disk space already.”

If you find it UNFATHOMABLE that datacentres are a vital part of many businesses and government departments, then you sir are a moron.

I can’t fathom why we need data centres anyway. The 80’s are a distant memory (those who were in IT at the time will remember the sudden loss of all data incidents), and individual PC’s have more than enough disk space already.

I can’t see Defence putting their data in the hands of an outside organisation, no matter what is suggested as a possibility. Similarly for most other Government organisations – they have too much to lose if you think about it for longer than 5 minutes with data privacy, the official secrets act, and responsibility over personal data that is captured for official purposes in mind.

I care not, however, about the placement of a gas plant. There’s ample space near my house, down between the shit factory and the overhead powerlines going to the power station, if they want to put it there.

If the prison can be built on Broadacre NUZ1 Non urban land, so could the power generator across the road on the Monaro Highway. Look at the actpla.act.gov.au online mapping software.

Would it be that the proposed site is ONLY 1.5 km from the Gilmore ACTEW sub-station that could mean the electricity could be fed in to the National Grid? Nah

They could put this development anywhere, and it makes far more sense to use some land well away from the suburbs to do so. Who owns the land? Something very fishy is going on.

Yeah baby – things sure will be pretty ‘far out’ in Macarthur when the gas pipelines start leaking – woo hoo (hmmmm …. maybe I’ll stay after all)

Dear residents .. in light of your fervent protests against the proposed massive gas turbine operated power plant (and fake data storage centre) 600 metres away from your suburb, ActewAGL has reconsidered their submission and have selected are site much further away from your suburb as requested. Having learnt our lesson the hard way, we are, for the first time, actively engaging in community consultation with the business owners in Hume; blog activity indicates that they are quite accepting of such a plant in their vicinity, so we are quietly optomistic for a quick agreement.

You will be pleased to know that ACTPLA has recently re-zoned this vacant Tuggeranong Block to acommodate the develoment of a secret government centre for scientific animal research. Although this will involve a range of experiments on somewhat noisy animals such as monkeys, pigs and dogs, this experimentation ill only be conducted during the hours of 9am – 5 pm week days. You will be pleased to learn that these animals are considerably less noisy and smelly than the proposed turbine gas plant so you might feel grateful you NIMBY caveman whingers.

Kind regards,

blahdy blah

(sorry – but this was actually the only thing I could think of that would be worse than the power plant)

Nah, it’s too far out…

I’m sure the long term residents of Wanniassa were unhappy when developers started squeezing mcmansions up on the hill (nature reserve) in what eventually became Fadden and Macarthur, too… 🙂

Poor El – Ordinarily I would suggest moving to the c(relatively) crime-free suburb of Macarthur … my house will be available to rent quite soon I suspect – terrific views!

Hmmm El tough choice … (just call me Sophie) but suddenly the dragway is looking pretty damned good 🙂

Okay – if I have to select one – I would live with the piggies …. as long as they were ‘free range’ and their smells definately drifted over Isaacs:)

Oh my God – it just occured to me (maybe too much red wine?) that maybe this is one of those situations where the government pretends to plan something so ridiculously ludicrous (fucking massive gas plant right next to suburbia) that their REAL plan won’t actually look so bad!!! Now THAT would be clever political tactics … so probably not

The ‘yard’ would be too small as it’s nonexistant.

There is however a huge open area diagonally across the road about 30m away that (at a stretch) could house such a power plant. Wouldn’t bother me. Hey, maybe it’d even have lighting on the perimeter that could illuminate the space where I park my car so I can watch thieves try and break into it every second night?

Should I write to ActewAGL and volunteer your yard as a possible future Gas plant site? Perhaps your yard was one of the ‘several considered by ActewAGL’ (stated in the news tonight … but AGL boy stated last night only three sites were offered by ACTPLA). I wonder if your neighbors would be as amenable? I can hear some community protests coming on …. oh, they are also apparently looking for a pigfarm site?

A pig farm? Which would you prefer? 😉

Hmmm yes – we obviously deserve a huge gas plant having chosen to live in a house near a horse paddock and kangaroo nature reserve….. please look at a map El – honestly, Hume (actual Hume, not fake ActewAGL Hume) is nowhere near us. The dump is utterly inoffensive too (surprisingly); just a big white hill with fumes blowing the other way (presumably over Isaacs et al). Breaking news … you will just LOVE this El … can already hear the jokes rolling … from an ACTPLA ‘insider’: apparently ACTPLA, before the AGL submission, were considering rezoning the land as agricultural – to house ….. a PIG FARM! Oh god, I must be tired because I am laughing my arse off!

Wait. Macarthur is nowhere near the tip, yet the proposed facility (which is on the other side of the road) is now being built close to peoples’ homes? Right…

They could build it next door to my house and I wouldn’t give even half a sh!t, ant.

el turd, the tip will soon close. Hume is not heavy industrial.

Macarthur is nowhere near the tip and Hume industrial. Please stop running this really tired argument. The facility proposed is being built close to a suburb full of peoples’ homes. It doesn’t affect you, so feel thankful, and either shut up or wonder if it happens to them, might it not happen to you down the track?

Perhaps they could’ve chosen a better suburb to move to than the one located nearby to a heavy industrial area and the city’s primary landfill then?

Thanks Ant, Sepi and Pandi – but I must admit that I am actually reassessing my decision to move to the ACT in light of recent events (good news El – one less NIMBY to stir the FUD pot). I somehow find the words ‘Pratt has taken up the cause ‘ less than reassuring! No – not needing a gas mask just yet, but in the words of our friendly ActewAGL rep, the emission levels of NO2 in the local area will increase by 350% to the MAXIMUM allowable EPA levels with no margin for error. Oh and this is using a model that ‘can’t be properly validated’ (according to the report accompanying the ActewAGL submission). Sigh.

This issue will hurt the Government. If the residents of MacArthur, Chisholm get their act together they can steal enough votes away from the Government by targeting some of the under performers: Hargraeves comes to mind. He is the Minister in charge of TAMS that looks after Energy Policy.

What I do not understand is why ACTPLA did not offer them other options to site the power generator.

Finally Coopers 4.4MW generator = PURE GOLD!

el – here’s a clue. People move to areas close to reserves, becuase they really value peace, quiet, birdsong, kangaroos, walking tracks, fresh air etc etc etc.

Clearly those things are a not a big deal to you, but it is a bit arrogant to think that everyone should think and act exactly as you do.

Here’s a clue: Simply repeating deceptive scare tactics over and over (‘poisonous exhaust fumes’, ‘toxins’, ‘dirty energy’) doesn’t make them any more true.

I hope you’re already wearing a gas mask 24/7 if you’re that concerned about breathing in C02/N02, ’cause you do it every day.

Guaranteed that if the proposal involved a windfarm, these same people would be complaining about the noise and loss of the ‘beautiful’ (cough) view.

Really badly, sepi?


Well said, Sepi. Yep. either the government, or their public servants, have decided to risk-manage the citizens, in order to please the developers and themselves, by depending on the apathy and antipathy of the majority of citizens by badly harming a few.

We used to be a country that cared about what happened to others, now we’re “I’m all right Jack so screw you”.

This is so depressing.

This government have realised they can do whatever they like, as long as it only affects a couple of suburbs worth of people really badly. They figure they can afford to lose that many votes, and sadly the rest of Canberra couldn’t care less, as long as it is happening to someone else. They are getting really good at trying to sneak these kind of big projects through.

WIN news did say tonight that the time for submissions has been extended, and that Steve Pratt has taken up the cause.

Hmm – Pratt vs Hargreaves….what a choice!

Keep up the fight, Deezagood. If this can happen, it can happen to anyone. If we allow this to happen to people, it can (and will) happen to all people. I saw some footage of the public meeting on the news, looks like a good roll up. Planners are meant to be there to ensure that everyone is considered, that the big guys don’t roll the little people. The gov’t is meant to do this also, but our ACT gov’t frequently forgets this. Time they were reminded.

Maybe … if we still have the strength to whine after our lungs are all damaged and hearing is shot to pieces 🙂

Most Government departments are potential clients of the data centre, not just the DoD.

I’d suggest the ‘constant whining of gas turbines’ will surely be drowned out by the constant whining of Macarthur residents.

El – there won’t be a data centre. ActewAGL guy stated, in his opening remarks, that Canberra needs their own gas plant because they are major terrorist target and we will be left without power if terrorist take out the plants currently servicing Canberra. Okay – good point. I don’t want to be left without power. But he then went on to say that the Department of Defence are a major potential client of the data storage centre. Ummmmmmm okay … makes sense for Defence (or any company) to store their data right next to a MAJOR TERRORIST TARGET! I would suggest the ruse is up. I kinda lost interest at the end but somebody mentioned the data centres should not be right next to a power plant for some electromagnetic blahdy blah reason (perhaps more FUD?).

I think the very best line was when the Actew guy said that one of the benefits to Macarthur residents was that the power station would block our unsightly views of the dump!!

Oh and so much for Deano’s support of due process; CEO ActewAGL stated on radio today that the power plant will go ahead – irrespective of community protest (which I’m sure will make the NIMBY-bashers extremely happy) as it is the only suitable site in ACT

Excellent news. Be interesting to see the data centre on completion, too.

Hi everyone; NIMBY cave-girl here again. Don’t see how I’m a ‘troublemaker’; I only felt compelled to post in response Deano’s Macarthur caveman comments (first time I have actually felt the need to post on anything). I have the ‘right of reply’.

Dropping land prices don’t bother me – I’m a renter. I can either stay and enjoy cheaper rent or move (but not to Isaacs, Wanniasa or Swinger Hill of course)

It ISN’T HUME – its bloody Tuggeranong … Block 1671. Check the ACTPLA website, DA Applications, under TUGGERANONG. I might be a NIMBY f”tard, but I can read. Then again, maybe ACTPLA has quietly (without consultation) re-zoned Hume into Tuggers … let’s face it – anything could happen

At last night’s meeting … yes- there was a chorus of emotional NIMBY protests – but also some pretty decent arguments/concerns from the floor.

ActewAGL finally admitted, at last night’s meeting, that it is all about the power and that the data storage was a means to get the gas station approved (after a decade of failing to justify the need for a gas plant).

ACTPLA didn’t bother turning up at all – leaving ActewAGL free to blame them (and their processes) for poor signage, lack of community engagement, the media embargo etc… Also made the point that the site was the ONLY suitable one offered by ACTPLA … which is scary given the size/scope of this infrastructure project (second largest infrastructure in the ACT after parliament house). I actually felt quite sorry for the Actew guy.

Highlight (for me) of last night’s meeting was the much-abused ActewAGL guy using the Coopers brewery gas turbine station (regency Park in Adelaide) as an example of how residential areas and gas turbines can co-exist in harmony. This was also the example used by ActewAGL when briefing the pollies about this project. Actew guy shut down really fast when one (well-researched) attendee noted the Coopers brewery produced 4MW of power versus ‘our’ gas turbine, that produces 210MW. Cooper brewery also has sophisticated sound reducing equipment (‘ours’ won’t because ActewAGL don’t think the cost/benefit equation is worth it).

Oh and so much for Deano’s support of due process; CEO ActewAGL stated on radio today that the power plant will go ahead – irrespective of community protest (which I’m sure will make the NIMBY-bashers extremely happy) as it is the only suitable site in ACT

Frankly; based on this debacle thus far, I don’t think ActewAGL or ACTPLA are well-equipped to manage ‘a major project of significant strategic importance to Canberra’ …. if it IS so important, why haven’t they done their jobs properly? Also – I suggest the NIMBY-bashers take a very close look at the submission report and the data used to minimise the NOx emissions, sound modeling etc… in the words of one of the attendees last night – holes big enough to drop a 210MW gas station through!

ACTEWAGL is pulling a swifty. The original site of this plant was shown on the CTC maps as being here:


which is near the prison site:


A much better place.

Why was this new site chosen so near to MacArthur that any cretin doing
research would have realised said NO to a dragway in 2004? Did they not
think that the residents would rebel?

This issue has the potential to see Hargraeves lose his seat.

James-T-Kirk4:36 pm 29 Apr 08

I need 1000W to down load the newest HD porn

ant:” wasteful people building massive houses with giant heating AND cooling systems, expecting to turn on a switch and suck down as much power as they want.”

I find it UNFATHOMABLE that freinds of mine are putting 500 and 1000 watt power supplies into thier desktop pcs which they primarily browse the net on. I have to toot my own trumpet, but I will – I have discarded my desktops and solely use my laptop, and my eeepc, which use 90 watts and 7 watts respectively.

he he intelljunt desine.


Alls’ I’m saying is I’m doing my bit for the environment, one bottle at a time. That carbondioxide came from somewhere, and it ends up in your belly, alongside the rest of the ingredients in beer.

I need no further reason to drink beer, although I have many in reserve.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy3:10 pm 29 Apr 08

I meant to say: “although we don’t carbonate HOME BREW beer…”

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy3:09 pm 29 Apr 08

Just so we’re all clear – although we don’t carbonate beer with compressed CO2 gas, the carbon contained within the sucrose molecules upon which the yeast feeds during secondary fermentation is released to the atmosphere when the beer is consumed. Don’t forget that sucrose (sugar for the philistines) is comprised, at a molecular level, of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Secondary fermentation breaks the moleculr bonds and decomposes the sucrose into less complex molecules, including CO2.

The datacentre is going to be used not just for commercial users, but my understanding was that it would also be used for national archiving purposes, being that it is going to be in a network of redundant datacentres accross australia in case a catasrtophe was to destroy one of them.
From what I understand, this project was designed with the idea that it would secure our ‘digital heritage’, be it national archives, births, deaths, etc, aswell as providing secure, reliable floorspace for commercial use. So don’t complain if this thing doesnt get built and theres a disaster *somewhere* and the government/internet providers/corporate IT services aren’t able to supply you with services that you expect to be given to you as a birthright.

As for the question ‘where is ACTEW going to get $2 billion from?’
Most likely government contracts, spread over a span of ten or so years. Commercial datacentres can cost up into the millions for power and cooling costs, so I imagine there are many companies who are very interested in being able to participate in high-density, cost- and energy-efficient data storage.

There are already a couple of datacentres in Hume, aswell as the humungous Optus datacentre, so it’s sensible to put it in close proximity to the rest(‘600m from ‘Hume’ is pretty much ‘next door’ when you consider fibre speeds) to reduce costs associated with costly fibre runs.

Also, get over it – maybe its not ‘in hume’ – who cares? it’s close enough. Its being put NEXT TO A TIP – you don’t really have a leg to stand on if you think this is going to deprecate land value, or whatever.

Ingeegoodbee2:39 pm 29 Apr 08

Most of your mass produced beers (VB, MB, Tooheys, XXXX etc) are carbonated after fermentation. For what it’s worth the beer finishes fermentation at around 8.0-8.2% Alc/vol. water is added to bring down alc. to around 4.9-5.0%, surfactants are added to help head retention and then it’s carbonated during the packaging process.

CO2 is only added to beer if you are artifically carbonating it. If it undergoes secondary fermentation in the bottle (like home brew and Coopers (don’t know if they still do this?)) then you don’t need to carbonate it. Yay for homebrew!

James-T-Kirk – thanks for an awesome and very entertaining comment. Maybe they should have used a term like “DR” rather than say disaster! I would have thought Canberrans would have been smarter, and more IT literate, than that.

James-T-Kirk1:56 pm 29 Apr 08

Finally Deano – “City planning by angry mob rule is no way for a modern society to operate. This is a free society and everyone is free to do as they wish within the bounds of law.”

I agree completely, which is why I am encouraging everybody I know to write to the local council (oh – sorry, ACT Government), saying how brilliant this plan is. I suspect the NIMBY factor that are actually capable or writing and correctly addressing an envelope would be well and truly out weighed by people who were prepared to back this plan on its merits, and not baulk just because they don’t want it in their backyard.

And finally – Just so it is truly clear – The microsecond that it becomes financially viable to put one of these things in my backyard to turn my own personal power meter backwards (legally) – I am on to it!!!!! Always remember rule zero – Be the one to make the others pay you!!!!!

James-T-Kirk1:51 pm 29 Apr 08


While I would never pretend to be an expert (a has-been drip under pressure), unlike the wonderful +7db loudmouth, I do ask a simple question.

Why don’t I die, or get terible, horrible, ugly, pustules and other lumpy bits from the ‘exhaust’ gas from my stove. Or from other sources of ‘exhaust plumes’ from other natural gas supplies around town.


By the way, I have been around people with various medical conditions who can generate their own exhaust plumes… But I don’t hear the townsfolk complaining.


VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy1:34 pm 29 Apr 08

I guffaw loudly in the general directoin of the fizzy drink CO2 statement. The CO2 had to be captured and PUT INTO the drink, so therefore the process is NEUTRAL, not positive.

True, BUT it takes energy to capture and compress the gas, thus is it NOT neutral…

el said :

Swinger Hill, Isaacs and Wanniassa to be affected? What a load of crap.

No, this claim is actually based on the evidence. The exhaust plume study identifies areas where the exhaust gasses will concentrate under certain weather conditions. Those suburbs do correspond to locations in the top 100 highest concentration sites under worst case conditions, however the concentrations are well below environmental limits.

Deano said :

City planning by angry mob rule is no way for a modern society to operate. This is a free society and everyone is free to do as they wish within the bounds of law.

I would emphasise that this applies to both sides of the argument – yes, I’m looking at you Ingeegoodbee and James-T-Kirk

Ingeegoodbee12:24 pm 29 Apr 08

Thumper, I’m guessing that the home brew shops around town are just going to get busier…

Who cares, it would appear that Kevin07 is seriously thinking about raising the tax on beer (and wine) as well as kiddy drinks.

We’re all doomed!

I guffaw loudly in the general directoin of the fizzy drink CO2 statement. The CO2 had to be captured and PUT INTO the drink, so therefore the process is NEUTRAL, not positive.

Think carefully before responding, because they have to do the same thing with BEER. Don’t make me get passionate about your utter destruction.

It’s a bit rich that people in Isaacs would be suddenly concerned for the environment, after all, how many of them piped up when the ACT Govt decided to bulldoze a large chunk of yellow-box woodland to build more Potts-styled eyesores in East O’Malley?

RuffnReady said:

RuffnReady said :

2. the IEA projects Austalia’s electricity demand will double by 2030 (just as it did from 1985-2005) – WHY DO WE ACCEPT THIS AS A PREMISE??? How about attenuating our rampant demand for electricity so that we don’t have to keep building new plant???

OVERCONSUMPTION OF EVERYTHING is the root cause of the problem – try addressing that first… *bitter guffaw* Everything else is just political window-dressing. *despairs for the world*

Yep, exactly. Greedy, wasteful people building massive houses with giant heating AND cooling systems, expecting to turn on a switch and suck down as much power as they want. With the population burgeoning, this insatiable demand for power is increasing like topsy, and so new generation plants are built willy-nilly.

And I deplore that people who aren’t affected by developments like this have the gall to try and howl down people who ARE affected.

We shall all have to drink Guinness then, because they use nitrogen.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy10:32 am 29 Apr 08

It’s usually the morons who whinge and and complain, because they don’t understand what’s really going on. In environmental terms, this is small potatoes.

I think we should ban all fizzy drinks (including beer), because the gas that makes the little bubbles is (SHOCK HORROR) carbon dioxide. Also, we all should stop breathing immediately, because we breathe out carbon dioxide.

Once the Australian carbon trading scheme gets started, environmental measures will be put in place to deal with carbon emissions anyway. I plan to plant millions of trees and sell the carbon credits to big evil companies to get rich. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…

As far as I can tell from the ACTPLA map site, the boundary of hume is thus Google Map.

So where exactly is the proposed site? Because I figured it for accross the road from the tip which would fall outside this boundary.

James-T-Kirk9:54 am 29 Apr 08

Deezagood – “Where other governments act to protect the health and well-being of their citizens, ours re-zones land to enable dirty energy power plants to be built 600 metres from homes; we are so lucky to live in the ACT.”

Oh, by the way, you little scaremonger, Plants like these are installed within 50m of residential areas. So whats your problem.

Finally, the exhaust gas is the SAME GAS your home gas cooking equipment spits out – Yep – Pretty bloody dangerous. We had all better stop using it, and move to burning wood – Hey – There are heaps of trees in Macarthur we can chop down for our cooking fires.

James-T-Kirk9:50 am 29 Apr 08

was that harsh?

James-T-Kirk9:47 am 29 Apr 08

Oh – and while I think of it – specifically to the lady who expected a ‘individual’ response to every concern letter and not just a form letter.

Just send me a Stamped Self Addressed Envelope, and a single $50 note, and a piece of toilet paper, and I will lovingly extrude an individual response, just for you.

James-T-Kirk9:42 am 29 Apr 08

Yay –

I had a wonderful evening last night listening to all of the land owners basically saying – “NOT IN MY BACK YARD”


It was especially sad, when an elderly gentleman had a loud whinge, decided not to listen to any response, then simply left. Yep – his input was invaluable – go get a life mate.

As to the loudmouth who complained that the noise level was going to be 7db above the recommended minimum at Macarthur – Sad – The consultants own graphs didn’t show that. Unfortunatley, the presenter didn’t zoom into the color scale on the graph to shut the fellow up.

So much complaining about noise – the figures presented were on the basis that the turbines were unshielded and unenclosed. The presenter indicated that, he also said that there was a possibility that they (ACTEWAGL) could shield the generators.

Yes, it is not officially in Hume, nor is it officially in Macarthur (The red line on my map says where that boundary is), it is in a land that isn’t allocated to a suburb.

Everybody is focused on the fact that it is a power station. OMG it is PRIMARILY a data centre. That is the enabling technology. The data centre has a local power supply, that will *eventually*, if it is proven to be an effective COMMERCIAL decision, go up to 210MW. Initially it will be in the order of sub 50MW. The use of GAS is what makes the proposition work. GAS provides the capability to provide cooling for the data centre computers, effectively saving about 30% over other alternatives.

If anything, I wish there was a way to differentially bill the complaining NIMBYS for the extra costs that they provide….

If you weren’t at the meeting, you missed a very funny bit – The rabble figured out that there would be parking for up to 400 cars on site. WOW. They were told that that was for a disaster. THEY BELIEVED IN THEIR OWN LITTLE PEANUT BRAINS that the disaster would be at the site….. Sad little creatures. For those who actually read – Here is the go.

Data Centres are largely unoccupied by humans – as mentioned during the presentation, there will be more than 5, and less than 50 staff onsite. The expansion car parking space is if there is a disaster SOMEWHERE ELSE!!!!! Yes, you read it here first – If something bad happens in, say, George Street Sidney, and a number of businesses NEED to get staff to do work on their redundant facilities, they can… YAY — Sadly, the complaining NIMBYS dont understand redundancy – Lets keep it simply – Imagine that you have a Commodore 64, and it breaks. If you have redundancy, you can get your SPARE Commodore 64 from your friends place, and keep on going. WOW. GOSH.

I walked out about 10 minutes after the bullshit questions started.

If you have a complaint, complain to the Govmit, via the appropriate planning process.

Just like you all do when Karolika (the quiet drug rehab place in Fadden – the one that was there LONG before the suburb was there) has the hide to ask for 10 more beds. Yep – Quash that one, because you are all screaming cretins.

Ingeegoodbee: You are the biggest cretin child this side of spastic.

So much disinformation on both sides…

Gas turbines are primarily used for peak load power because they are significantly more expensive to operate than coal-fired power plants, which is of course dependent on the relative prices of gas and coal. They can also be stopped and started on short notice, unlike coal fired plants. They produce up to 40% less GHGs than black coal. Why is this plant really being built would be my first question.

As for wind, CSIRO has already mapped the entire country for wind and knows exactly where the turbines should go. Wind can produce at least 20% of a country’s electricity grid demands, as has already been proven by Denmark, and the larger the geographical area you can spread them over, the less intermittency is a problem (when it’s still in one place it’s windy in another). Wind can play a significant role in meeting electricity demands if the community can get over the bullshit about wind farms affecting property values.

Two other comments:
1. there is no single solution to the coming energy crisis, no one technology. A mix of gas as a transitory technology, and solar (PV and thermal), wind, geothermal, maybe even tidal, technologies needs to be advanced, and quickly. Even then, if demand continues to grow as it is we may as well give up now, burn coal and be done with it.
2. the IEA projects Austalia’s electricity demand will double by 2030 (just as it did from 1985-2005) – WHY DO WE ACCEPT THIS AS A PREMISE??? How about attenuating our rampant demand for electricity so that we don’t have to keep building new plant???

OVERCONSUMPTION OF EVERYTHING is the root cause of the problem – try addressing that first… *bitter guffaw* Everything else is just political window-dressing. *despairs for the world*

I don’t think it is in Hume though – it is in the reserve area between Macarthur and Fadden.

It is like when the govt renamed Mt Majura from being a reserve to being the dragway noise abatement zone…

they just do whatever they want.

Ingeegoodbee: Comment 36 = Pure gold.

Ant, I can’t say I’d be too bothered if they built something like this nearby to me. Bearing in mind ‘nearby’ in this instance is 600 metres away. Or is it really 990? Christ on a bike, in an INDUSTRIAL zone no less!

Nobody gives a sh!t, except for a handful of Macarthur NIMBYs pissed off about – presumably, land value.

Ingeegoodbee10:20 pm 28 Apr 08

Ant, if they can afford the land in Forrest then by all means build it next door to Pottsie’s joint, see if I care.

maybe, just maybe, the surplus power will mean they have to build light rail. Nah, too sensible!

Also, didn’t these same wackos complain about proposed extensions to that druggie place recently on the grounds that more druggies would come and now they are wanting to defend it from the blight of reliable electricity?

I work in Hume, and I’d rather have it out here than anywhere else if we have to have it. There really is hardly any houses around this area and Hume itself is an industrial area. Can any of the knockers provide a better location?

Also, in the 3 years of working here, I’ve seen a total of 3 kangaroos, and they were all up towards Jerra. I’m sure they roam, but there definitely is not 2500 of them.

I wonder if all those foamingly in favour of this kind of thing would be as happy about it if it was in their proximity?

Ingeegoodbee8:21 pm 28 Apr 08

Why do you ‘tards insist on saying that it’s not in Hume? It’s in bloody Hume FFS.

Apart from that, all due process was followed, adds were put in the paper, signs were erected in public areas where real stakeholders that might be affected (ie users of the horse paddock)could see them, it was given a press profile and was reported on a number of occasions in the Crimes. But that dosn’t seem to wash for a minority of ignorant selfish butt-maggots who, despite being consulted on every bloody government issue under the sun once every four years still believe that they have some god-given-right to whinge on endlessly about planning, and due process and consultation and community involvement when in reality they simply hate society and any attempt by real people to improve Canberra and believe that anything that dosnt fit theit distorted touchy-feely view of the world must be rubbed out because it dosn’t fit their extreme eco-communist agenda.

I honesly hope that this project gets up, and I really hope that the noise projections are wrong and that life for these dip-stick POV ar$ewhipes in Fadden or whatever sh!thole suburb exists out there in slumsville is intollerable – it’ll serve you all right for being low-rent douche-bags.

Yes it (the boundary) is 600 meteres away from the nearest house. No there are not 1 kangaroo per 84 quare metres on the hosre paddock. No it is not in Hume. No the noise forecast is not said to be that high at the residences on the ridge line, but I would have you go and do some measurments from existing gas powered power stations.

Good luck at your meeting. You should get around 200 people.

And why does it have to be built there anyway instead of at Willamsdale which is next door to the Eastern Gas Line?

Swinger Hill, Isaacs and Wanniassa to be affected? What a load of crap.

NIMBY ‘tards must’ve picked suburbs at random, considering there’s 3 other suburbs in between the proposed site and Swinger Hill. FUD all the way, baby!

Wide boy – how on earth do you think ActewAGL will fund the 2 billion dollar plant? And other forms of energy plants need workers too ….

‘City planning by angry mob rule is no way for a modern society to operate. This is a free society and everyone is free to do as they wish within the bounds of law’

I actually strongly agree with you Deano and I fully support the concept of due process. In this case, due process would have been for resident concerns to be voiced via formal objections to ACTPLA. This may have occured, in a fair and measured way (without the need to actively incite community interest) if anybody had actually known about the submission. I suspect resident anger predominantly stems from the feeling of being duped; hidden signage off the freeway on a little-used road (in fact, even when you know the sign is there it is hard to find due to its placement), no letters/notices advising us of the submission, zero community consultation (check out similar submissions in other (rural!) areas; they have sections/chapters dedicated to community consultation), the media embargo on the press release until the first day of school holidays, the labling of the project ‘Data Storage Plant’, the very short time-frame for objections etc… Perhaps ActewAGL just forgot to tell people or are inexperienced in this area, but their tactics (however inadvertant) may indicate duplicity, which invokes suspicion – ergo people doing their own research and drawing their own conclusions. I think the most important thing is for residents to attend tonight’s meeting and hear from all sides – before making an informed decision about their action (if any). I just hope ActewAGL is forced to get a truly independant noise/emission analysis (not one conducted by a consultant engaged/paid by them), that they justify WHY Canberra needs a massive gas power plant, which clean energy sources were considered (and why they were rejected), which other sites were considered (and why they were rejected) and so forth. You should come to the meeting Deano!

Wide Boy Jake4:31 pm 28 Apr 08

Another case of selfish nimbys trying to impose their ignorant views onto the rest of us. We want good, cheap energy and jobs for power station workers not some pea-brained notion of “carbon footprints” and “clean coal”. ACTEW-AGL should build a dozen of these plants – maybe our sky-high electricity prices might come down as a result.

Jonathon Reynolds4:10 pm 28 Apr 08


Mælinar said :

… it is already proven that you can get net energy gain from a wind powered turbine. The statement about ‘propellor technology’ is disingenuous, as we already know we can gather energy from the wind for minimal effort.

… but wind technology is no good for meeting peak demand requirements when the wind isnt blowing. This power station is all about meeting peak requirements, not base load.

@Caf & Thumper – it is already proven that you can get net energy gain from a wind powered turbine. The statement about ‘propellor technology’ is disingenuous, as we already know we can gather energy from the wind for minimal effort.

We also know that propellor technology cannot be optimised much further, as we have tried and it is not scientifically possible without breaking the good old stalwart E=MC2.

So, yes propellors are cutting edge. Yes, there can be further optimisations along the consumption trail. Yes, it is possible for energy generation along the top of the brindabella’s. Just don’t ask for the Government to do it, unless you are at the same time nominating for a change of Government, cause the current bunch couldn’t manage an escape from a wet paper bag.

Skaboy19: Please stop spreading your lies and propaganda. The project will end up going ahead anyway

The buses of Chinese students left on Friday afternoon…

“Constant whining, eh? Somehow, I don’t doubt it.”

Yep, from the residents of Isaacs, Swinger Hill, and Wanniasa… and deezagood.

I am curious as to why you are you so ‘pro’ the power station?

In actual fact I am ambivalent about the power plant.

As I have stated before, my objection is your use of FUD to stir up false community concern. Your use of misinformation is far worse than what you are accusing the government and ACTEW of. I would be equally hard on ACTEW if I believed they were misrepresenting the project.

City planning by angry mob rule is no way for a modern society to operate. This is a free society and everyone is free to do as they wish within the bounds of law.

And, no I won’t be attending tonight’s Tuggeranong community meeting. After previous experiences with the likes of Lissimore, Smyth and Pratt, I wouldn’t waste my time.

True caf, but even allowing for miniscule advances, it (wind power) will always be supplementary, therefore is it worth prceeding wwith when those funds could further advance other energy making technologies such as solar?.

Thumper: Perhaps turbine technology is nearing maturity (although perhaps not – think of what you could do with alternative construction materials; and it’s certain that the United States Navy knows quite a bit more about efficient propeller designs than the rest of us…), but there’s got to be considerable room for improvement in the generators, transformers and transmission technology.

Where did “This type/size of plant will emit approximately 95 million cubic metres (38,000 Olympic swimming pools) of poisonous exhaust fumes into the atmosphere every day.” come from?

What is the breakdown – most of the output of any power station is steam…

What is that in tonnes? (The usual measurement)

What is that in Tonnes/Kwh? What is the comparison rate between Brown and Black Coal?

Why not put it right next to the prison? It makes sense for when they inrtoduce the electric chair – reduce the risk of brown outs (and blowing up your tele) when they throw the big switch!

How many propellors are on an aircraft ?

Wind generated power will always be supplimentary simply because the propellor cannot be technologically advanced in any way.

Put simply, a propellor cannot be improved upon.

it’s nice to think that it could, but sadly, we are wasting our time with wind power.

Solar and hydro seem to be the way forward.

5. A wind farm will not produce the same energy in the same land footprint, niether will any other alternative energy source.

You are of course including the pipeline, and refining facilities in this assesment?

And further to your response (read lies) to Deano.

From the environmental impact report
‘While the grassy areas are grazed by kangaroos and rabbits, the predominantly
introduced groundcover over the majority of the study area would limit the potential
of the area as feeding habitat for woodland or grassland birds. The potential of the
site to provide habitat for small animals such as reptiles is limited by the lack of
environmental attributes such as rock (embedded or surface), spider holes, cracks in
the groundlayer or fallen timber.
It is highly unlikely that any threatened flora species occur within the study area. The
area is highly modified and lacks the diversity of native forb species that may
indicate the presence of uncommon or threatened native plants. The lack of a range
of suitable habitat attributes and the substantial nature of previous disturbance
diminishes the potential of the site to contain any threatened fauna species.’

‘The study area is substantially modified by past land uses and does not contain any
features of high biodiversity value. Proposed development would impact directly only
on an area of degraded native pasture, dominated by introduced grasses and weeds
and, subject to appropriate site environmental management during construction, is
unlikely to significantly affect the adjacent drainage line through the site.’

Also the RSPCA did a wildlife count on the entire area surrounding Hume and the landfill site, you are misrepresenting the truth by trying to claim this count was just for the site in question. I have confirmed this with the RSPCA with a simple 5 minute phone call.

Please stop spreading your lies and propaganda. The project will end up going ahead anyway.

Not my letter in the CT – there is a growing group of us NIMBY cave-folks doing what we can to draw attention to this issue. We actually don’t get the truck noise or any odours at all – because the wind direction tends to go the other way. This is actually good news for us from an emission/noise perspective but apparently not so great for Isaacs, Swinger Hill, O’Malley and Wanniasa. I also realise the gas power plant is probably a fait accompli (given the large profit factor, political gains, already-endorsed land re-zoning etc…) but residents deserve to know what they have coming.

My last word on this – hope to see all commentators there tonight.

In addition to what is written on here and your letter in the CT.
1. If there were thousands of kangaroos on the site they would be packed side by side with no gaps.
2. You are yet to produce proof that there will be any increased cases of the medical issues you have claimed.
3. You are more likely to hear the garbage trucks before you hear the turbine ‘whine’.
4. You will not smell it over the smell of the landfill, so it won’t really matter.
5. A wind farm will not produce the same energy in the same land footprint, niether will any other alternative energy source.

Ingeegoodbee11:19 am 28 Apr 08

If the RSPCA reckon there 2500 ‘roos on Block D in Hume then they’re either liars or on drugs.

Perhaps not Deano, but at least people are taking notice. I am curious as to why you are you so ‘pro’ the power station? And to counter your points:

– the nearest residence the residential medical treatment facility – just a few hundred metres away
– The facility is being marketed in the media as a data storage facility in Hume
– RSPCA has been out and conducted a roo count – 2500 approx
– The gas station will have less emission than a black coal plant … why would we want either of these? This statement is a perfect example of their ludicrous argument!
– Agree the turbines aren’t the noisiest part – the cooling stacks are noisier than the turbine engines and the noisiest aspect of the operation is actually the gas pipeline venting – whew, what a relief!

deezagood, running away from the other thread doesn’t make your mistruths any more valid

These gas plants use dirty energy (the only dirtier energy is black coal); hardly in keeping with the federal government’s promise to reduce greenhouse emissions. Where is the proposal for clean energy such as hydro, wind and solar?

From the assessment report:

“gas fired electricity generation produces approximately 21-43% less CO2 equivalent emissions of that produced from black coal electricity generation. Similarly the amount of N2O that will be produced will be approximately 8 times less than that produced by a black coal power station.

It is therefore anticipated that there will be a positive impact on the greenhouse gas emissions within the ACT and surrounding NSW region.”

Only someone living under a rock could think this was being snuck through. The proposal has been publicized on the front page of the Canberra Times on more than one occasion. It is going through the normal planning approval process.

Your letter to the editor in today’s Canberra Times contains many mistruths:

* The nearest residence is 990m away, not 600m
* There is no evidence that the planning submission was surreptitious
* The application signage is the same as used for every planning application in the ACT. Notice was published in the Canberra Times and full details are available from the ACTPLA web site
* Yes gas turbine engines are noisy when installed in aircraft. Their use in power stations is entirely different. Even the noise assessment report doesn’t rate the turbines as the noisiest component of the station.
* The land in question was never a reserve and there are definitely are not ‘thousands of kangaroos’ living there.
* The entire power station is not going to be built next year but in stages as the data centres are built. The power station is required before the data centres are built because it supplies the power and cooling facilities.

If you have valid concerns then lodge an objection but this misinformation is not adding to your creditability.

I agree. A nice big line of large white wind turbines all along the brindies makes much more sense.

What the Australian power grid needs is base load production capacity to begin replacing coal and oil, not more peak load, on demand, production capacity to complement it.

Ingeegoodbee10:37 am 28 Apr 08

It’s in Hume end of story.

Jonathon Reynolds10:35 am 28 Apr 08

There is a meeting tonight down in Tuggeranong (Vikings Club in the Town Centre) about the proposed development. I was sent a copy of the flyer that was going to be letter-boxed to homes in Maccarthur:

It isn’t going to be in ‘Hume’ – or where you think Hume might be. The ‘Hume’ stuff is another ruse to sneak this through. Everyone thinks Hume is on the other size of the freeway (in the industrial area), so what does it matter? But do you really want a dirty gas power station ANYWHERE near residences? Why aren’t we looking to wind, hydro or solar? Do we really want Canberra to have it’s own smog?

Ingeegoodbee10:23 am 28 Apr 08

Another whinging loony NIMBY crawls out from under their rock to spread lies and mis-information.

One would imagine that, given the number of reports, assessments, and planning strategies completed over say the past 8-10 years that have all concluded that Hume is a fantastic place for industrial development, a gas-fired power plant and data management facility would be just the ticket.

I would also imagine that a power plant fueled by shale oil would trump a diesel oil p;ant that would trump a brown coal plan that beats a black coal plant – to be honest gas (either methane or LNG) would have to be about as clean as they come – you’d probably have to go to one of the long-term seriously sustainable sources like nuclear/solar/hydro/wind to get cleaner.

Canberra Times article 11/04/2008 ‘Capital Data Hub’ states that a decade of studies failed to establish a case for gas-fired power until last year when ActewAGL noticed the sudden and dramatic shift in demand for a data centre centre’

At full capacity, will need about 33MW; the power plant will provide an additional 177MW for ActewAGL to sell back to the Austral Power Grid – the data storage is a ruse to get themselves a power plant

Just recently, Standhope and the CEO of ActewAGL were on ABC news spouting the benefits of solar power and how we must embrace this blah blah blah. Gas is dirty power (oaky – perhaps not as dirty as nuclear, peat, brown coal etc..) but it isn’t ‘clean’. Many governments are looking at legislating against this type of plant because of the greenhouse emissions

Actual extract from their submission:

‘The Poposed Gas Fired Station location is curently designated for broad acre land and therefore zone E. The allowable noise emssion levels are presented as 50 decabels during the day and 40 db at night. It is expected the entire area is to be re-zoned as industrial and therefore be designated as zone A, with emission criteria of 65 db …’ (in other words, ACT PLA is re-zoning the land to enable this noisy station to be built … we smell a large rat!!!)

For such a large scale project (second largest piece of Canberra infrastrucure next to parliament house) the submission signage is tiny and obscure – on Mugga Lane and adjacent to the road so that even passing motorists couldn’t read it! Also – submission over school holidays! They have literally tried to sneak this through.

Extracts from the Noise Emmission report:
‘Noise levels at the immediate boundary of the site have been shown to slightly exceed night time industrial noise criterion. However costly noise mitigation measures to reduce this impact are considered impractical..’
‘Of particular concern is a Health Treatment Facility that is located to the south of the proposed site .. this is a residential facility ‘(note that this is a home for severely mentally impaired residents – about 300 metres from the site)
‘The assessment shows that the noise levels at the Health Treatment facility .. will be affected by excessive noise levels’
‘Therefore noise treatments in the form of noise barriers to reduce noise levels at the immediate boundary of the site would be very large and costly’

Who the hell lives within 600m of Hume? And if they do, surely that means they bought land right next to a land fill, have just obtained a prison, what difference is a powerstation going to make?

Plus, I thought that brown coal was substantially “dirtier” then black coal or gas. And while I’m not sure I agree, there are planty of people that would put nuclear in the “dirty” category as well.

Oh, and the comment in the story “These gas plants use dirty energy (the only dirtier energy is black coal);” is factually incorrect – brown coal is dirtier than black coal, peat is also a worse power source, as are oil-burning power plants. That’s just off the top of my head.

A letter to the ed in the Canberra Times and several comments in the Cave People thread.

Hate to break it to you but just maybe Hume is the appropriate place for industrial development.

Anyone might think you are concerned about something selfish like property values.

Next thing you will want all the planes to fly in from the northside to take them further than 5 km away then are currently.

Who’s “we”?

Constant whining, eh? Somehow, I don’t doubt it.

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