NSW Labor plans for more dirty coal power stations put to the test
Press release - 15 November, 2010
Land and Environment Court Papers will be filed today in the Land and Environment Court by the Hunter Community Environment Centre (HCEC) that will challenge the State government’s decision to rehabilitate one of the State’s oldest and dirtiest power stations – Munmorah.
If Munmorah is allowed to be rehabilitated, rather than retired in
2014 as was originally planned, it will generate 4.2 million tonnes of
carbon per year. And Labor will have given the OK to a project
significantly well below best practice for thermal energy, according
to a report done by Arup
"It’s a scandal that after years of having their air, water and health
compromised by coal power stations across their community, the people
of the Hunter have to endure another 20 to 30 years of Munmorah," said
Simon Fane , of the Hunter Community Environment Centre.
"The fly ash coming from this plant contains a toxic cocktail of some
of the most poisonous elements, including arsenic, lead, mercury and
cadmium," said Fane. "The Hunter and Central Coast community shouldn’t
have to bear this toxic legacy, especially when alternatives to coal
fired power are readily available.
This case is the latest of a suite of climate change cases seeking to
ensure decision makers properly consider the impacts of coal-fired
power generation on global greenhouse gas emissions and the
implications of climate change for NSW and Australia.
The HCEC will be challenging the validity of the project approval on
the grounds that the Minister failed to consider the principles of
ecologically sustainable development, particularly the precautionary
principle and the principle of intergenerational equity, as he was
required to do as part of his duty to consider the public interest.
The Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) is acting for Hunter
Community Environment Centre Inc (HCEC) in challenging the Minister
for Planning’s approval in proceedings in the Land and Environment
Paul Winn Climate Campaigner for Greenpeace said, "We endorse the
legal challenge by HCEC. Maintaining this dirty and inefficient power
station for another 20 years locks in increasing carbon pollution in
NSW. Greenpeace sees the decommissioning of Munmorah as a critical
first step towards a clean energy future in this State."