While wind farms are being blocked and stopped by state government legislation, gas plants are all go. But they aren’t necessarily very popular with their neighbours. Take the following two stories, one about the Port Campbell gas plant, the other about a proposed, monster 1500MW open-cycle gas plant at Dalton, in rural NSW (near Gunning).
Noisy Port Campbell gas plant annoys neighbours
FRUSTRATION continues to grow for Port Campbell residents tired of nearby gas plants self-policing their noise levels.
Since hearing residents’ concerns on March 28 with the Otway Community Reference Group, the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria is yet to conduct any noise monitoring of its own.
Dairy farmer Kevin Tesselar said the opportune time had now passed to measure noise from the Origin and TRU Energy gas plants, which often spooked his cattle in nearby paddocks.
“We had a meeting with council and with the regional director at EPA, Eve Graham, who gave us a commitment it would be a top priority,” Mr Tesselar said.
“Having had that commitment we expected some action or follow up, but we’ve heard nothing.
“We’ve had no feedback from the EPA.
“With changing weather conditions they might’ve missed the best opportunity to do noise monitoring in the stillest conditions.”
Port Campbell resident Greg Clarke said flares from one of the gas plants on Tuesday morning had woken his family at 4.15am, with flames lighting up their rooms.
“We are sick of being woken by these explosions as much as the constant drones,” he said.
Dalton citizens fire up
“LIP service” and “more spin”. This is how the people of Dalton and Gunning described energy giant AGL’s attempts to convince them the Gas Fired Power station, which will be located 3km from the village, would not have a negative impact on their lives.
The company held a community consultation meeting on Wednesday night to respond to concerns raised during the NSW Department of Planning’s submissions process and come up with measured solutions to the issues.
However, the 100 or so locals in attendance, were not impressed with the company’s presentation. The community made it clear that they wanted straightforward answers to their concerns and, after the meeting, few felt as though they’d received them. The strong sentiment amongst the group was that they did not want a power station so close to their homes. But it was made clear to them that this issue would not even be discussed.
“First off AGL is not going to move the power station. That is not negotiable…” the meeting’s facilitator Kath Elliott, from GHD consultants said.
“Having an argument with AGL about the Power Station is not the right avenue. AGL is a proponent for the power station, they won’t get into an argument about whether it is there or not, it is in their interest to put it there.”