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Dirty Energy Power Plant in Canberra

deezagood 28 April 2008 117

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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117 Responses to Dirty Energy Power Plant in Canberra
deezagood deezagood 12:01 am 30 Apr 08

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)

deezagood deezagood 11:55 pm 29 Apr 08

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)

el el 11:34 pm 29 Apr 08

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… 🙂

deezagood deezagood 11:29 pm 29 Apr 08

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!

deezagood deezagood 11:25 pm 29 Apr 08

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

el el 11:19 pm 29 Apr 08

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?

deezagood deezagood 11:15 pm 29 Apr 08

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?

el el 11:12 pm 29 Apr 08

A pig farm? Which would you prefer? 😉

deezagood deezagood 11:09 pm 29 Apr 08

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!

el el 11:08 pm 29 Apr 08

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.

Pandy Pandy 11:04 pm 29 Apr 08

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

ant ant 10:56 pm 29 Apr 08

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?

el el 10:52 pm 29 Apr 08

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?

deezagood deezagood 10:50 pm 29 Apr 08

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.

Pandy Pandy 10:34 pm 29 Apr 08

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!

sepi sepi 10:25 pm 29 Apr 08

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.

el el 10:11 pm 29 Apr 08

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.

el el 9:53 pm 29 Apr 08

Really badly, sepi?


ant ant 9:52 pm 29 Apr 08

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”.

sepi sepi 9:33 pm 29 Apr 08

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!

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