FOY group’s controversial plan to build an oil refinery in Hume has been shot down by a government-appointed expert panel.
The panel said the company’s environmental impact statement failed to sufficiently address key risks, including the risk of explosions, the potential damage to surrounding land, and the effects on air quality.
The panel’s opinion is non-binding, but its decision will influence whether the land authority approves any development application.
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“The panel has highlighted the high level of risk associated with a project of this nature and recommended that, even if all of the identified issues were addressed, the approval authorities would still need to see the outcome of a fully operational pilot project before approving a full-scale facility,” said Mick Gentleman MLA, the ACT Minister for Planning.
The panel has also recommended that Worksafe considers whether the facility should be considered a ‘Major Hazard Facility’. On the basis of the high level of risk, the panel expressed concern that the proposal would limit the range of uses on surrounding land in Hume.
FOY’s planned oil refinery was originally proposed in NSW, where it was rejected by the Environmental Protection Agency.