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.