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TRE tries to heavy the greens

By johnboy - 29 October 2008 71

[First filed: October 28, 2008 @ 09:30]

The Canberra Times has a piece in which Technical Real Estate tries to put the frighteners up the Greens and all opponents of their planned data centre / power station.

It seems they’re frustrated from doing business in a functional democracy and have determined that the only viable place for their plans is close the homes in Tuggeranong.

As a long time watcher of these things there’s a lot here that makes little sense. Does some mighty factional warlord own the land? Why else is this particular parcel of land so essential to the process. Surely the co-generation capacity reduces the need to be near residential areas?

UPDATED: The Greens’ Amanda Bresnan is quite reasonably asking what the game is here:

    ‘”We don’t understand why TRE are prepared to go overseas or interstate, but they are not prepared to move down the road.”

    “The Greens are very confident that appropriate sites for this or future data centre projects could be found in the ACT” Ms Bresnan said.’

What’s Your opinion?


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71 Responses to
TRE tries to heavy the greens
Pandy 5:29 pm 28 Oct 08

John Mackay said he will build a bigger power station at Williamsdale. Surely the Greens and TRE would not object to the data centre being built there?

Deano 3:51 pm 28 Oct 08

nathan said :

We’re a town of only 340,000 or so. Perhaps a town council would be more appropriate.

A typical Sydney council area covers about 30 square km and has about 65,000 people. If we were a country, we would rank about 171st out of 221, between Brunei and the Bahamas.

sepi said :

The greens should also remember that they may have won votes from people hoping they would can this project in the location 600m from homes.

Which would account for what, 50-100 votes at the most.

whistle 3:46 pm 28 Oct 08

Development approval has not yet been granted by ACTPLA. The white shoe set do not have the authority to declare unilaterally that they pass all the planning tests.

In my view TRE should point some of the finger of blame at their consortium partners ActewAGL who chose the location for the power station. If Michael Costello and John McKay had not mishandled community consulation and they had thought about community impact in the first place, then the project would not now be in political no mans land.

sepi 3:39 pm 28 Oct 08

The greens should also remember that they may have won votes from people hoping they would can this project in the location 600m from homes.

nathan 2:09 pm 28 Oct 08

Deano said :

We are best served if the government acts as a government and not as a town council.

We’re a town of only 340,000 or so. Perhaps a town council would be more appropriate.

johnboy 1:50 pm 28 Oct 08

Actually the vast majority of legislation is passed by both parties.

It’s the relatively rare disagreements which get media attention.

Jazz 12:34 pm 28 Oct 08

It always seemed to me that the Libs and Labor opposed each other on principle

areaman 12:27 pm 28 Oct 08

caf said :

Not to mention, the Greens can’t scupper anything by themselves – so it’s only “if the Greens and Liberals together decide to” that it can be canned.

Unless they made it a deal breaker in negotiations on supply.

Deano 12:16 pm 28 Oct 08

johnboy said :

The Greens were elected, if their power as MLA’s allows them to scupper the facility then that is completely legitimate.

Absolutely not!. The Greens and other parties were elected to determine the criteria by which development proposals will be impartially assessed. If a proposal meets the applicable criteria then there is no reason to stop it. They were definitely not elected (by a minority) to personally approve individual projects. The danger is that arbitrary approval works both ways – projects that don’t meet the assessment criteria can be approved at the whim of the government, which we have seen is equally controversial through the use of call-in powers.

We are best served if the government acts as a government and not as a town council.

caf 12:01 pm 28 Oct 08

Not to mention, the Greens can’t scupper anything by themselves – so it’s only “if the Greens and Liberals together decide to” that it can be canned.

johnboy 11:26 am 28 Oct 08

Business needs to respect the wishes of the communities it wants to operate in and not think that hiring lawyers to massage process is an acceptable alternative.

The Greens were elected, if their power as MLA’s allows them to scupper the facility then that is completely legitimate.

They have to decide for themselves if that best serves the community which elected them.

Soolin 10:34 am 28 Oct 08

That’s my reading of the situation too Deano. TRE has spent a lot of money on the necessary environmental studies only for the Greens to say they are opposed to the project regardless. Business does need certainty.

Deano 10:24 am 28 Oct 08

Actually, what TRE are saying is that they want to the Greens to agree that they will allow the project to go ahead if the environmental impact study shows there is no reason for it not to. This is just business asking for some certainty in the process.

I would argue that this is an important test case. If, after going through due process and meeting all requirements, a project can be arbitrarily scuttled because a minority component of the government doesn’t like it, it opens the way for abuse of power. If this becomes the case then the way to get things done in the ACT will involve getting politicians on side before even submitting a proposal. At first it will start with intense lobbying and eventually develop into bribery and corruption.

An essential component of a functional democracy is the separation of powers and the application of due process. That is all TRE are requesting.

futto 10:01 am 28 Oct 08

TRE should just give up.

The status quo has changed and a minority government with four Greens holding balance of power means this current deal is DEAD.

Whatsup 9:41 am 28 Oct 08

A good test for the Greens… will they crumble on a pre election promise so soon ?

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