‘All fired up over Tarrone power station emissions’

The following comes from the Warrnambool Standard, journalist: SHANE FOWLES

All fired up over Tarrone power station emissions

It will be most interesting to see if the Minister grants a 2 km buffer for the gas fired power station. If he intends to give a 2 km buffer to residents around a proposed wind farm, it would seem only fair to grant the same right in the case of a gas power station.

RESIDENTS adjacent the proposed Tarrone gas-fired power station have called for a buffer around the plant because of noise and emission concerns.

A petition with 21 signatures was tabled in state Parliament last week, calling for a two-kilometre exclusion zone around the $500 million power station, marked down for grazing land about seven kilometres west of Willatook.

Proponent AGL plans to create a 350-megawatt gas-turbine power station, as part of a three-stage development that will see it capable of producing 920 megawatts.

Calls for an exclusion zone mirror a state government policy, yet to be implemented, to reject the siting of wind turbines within two kilometres of a home without permission from the resident.

Planning Minister Matthew Guy will make the final decision on whether to proceed with AGL’s Tarrone development.

The petition says the power station will cause emissions to be washed into water tanks, cattle water troughs and pastures and create noise of up to 100 decibels when the turbines start up.

The proposed power station site is also the planned location for electrical connection of the Macarthur wind farm, which is several kilometres to the north.

A base-load power station is also proposed by Santos to the west at Orford, while the Hot Rock geothermal project is drilling test bores to the east at Willatook.

AGL yesterday said it had sought expert advice on noise and air emissions for the proposed power station.

“This advice confirms that air emissions won’t contaminate rainwater, pasture or adversely impact agricultural activities and that it will easily comply with the relevant health-based standards in place,” an AGL spokesperson said.

“Furthermore, while noise from construction and operation of the power station may sometimes be heard, it will not be loud enough to disturb sleep or have a significant impact on people.”

At a special planning panel held in Port Fairy in February, Moyne Shire said its support for the project was dependent on the amenity of landholders not being negatively affected.

“There is always some impact, but there are guidelines to protect people in the area and we will be paying close attention to these,” Moyne’s strategic planning manager Russell Guest said.

Mr Guy will be in Warrnambool today to address the “Planning for a Changing Climate” forum, which will cover new energy development opportunities, planning for sea-level rise and climate change adaptation.

sfowles@standard .fairfax.com.au

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