Power plant proposal on a wrong “trajectory”

SOUTH Australian Greens leader Mark Parnell has called on Minister for Planning John Rau and the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) to “go outside their comfort zone” and not allow Alinta Energy to proceed with its proposed Reeves Plains Power Station.
Mr Parnell made a submission at last Wednesday’s SCAP hearing and said the State Government should deny the construction of the $450 million gas and diesel power plant near the corner of Redbanks and Day roads in Reeves Plains.
“Why on earth, in the 21st century, are we building new fossil fuel power plants? Good grief!” he said.
“This whole project should be about transitioning away from fossil fuels, toward renewable energy, and you don’t do that by continuing to build fossil fuel generators.
“There is a trajectory which we should not be going down, and this plant would be part of that trajectory.”
Mr Parnell challenged Mr Rau – the project’s ultimate decision-maker – to consider declaring the proposal a major development and have a comprehensive Environment Impact Statement prepared before his final decision is made.
He said the project will have a negative impact on climate and is “completely at odds” with the State Government’s ‘Carbon Neutral Adelaide Strategy’.
“Some of the residents’ concerns fall into typical planning concerns, but what gives me great heart is the fact that, on top of that, people get that the climate is struggling because of what we’re doing to it,” Mr Parnell said.
“One of the main things we’re doing to it is burning fossil fuels and here comes (Alinta) who want to burn more fossil fuels.
“It’s primarily a gas plant, but they’re going to have 400,000 litres of diesel, which they can burn as well.”
The Bunyip contacted Mr Rau for comment, however he was unable to speak on the matter until he had received the SCAP’s report from Wednesday’s hearing.
A spokesperson said the SCAP’s advice will assist Mr Rau in making a decision, but couldn’t confirm when that verdict would be delivered.
“The SCAP’s advice is now being processed by the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure and will be provided to the Planning Minister for his consideration in due course,” they said.
“There is no statutory time frame for this process (and), as a result, a time line cannot be provided at this stage.”
Mr Parnell said he and local residents will continue their campaign against the power station development.
“Until they build it, and commission it, the campaign is not over,” he said.

Tom Staggard


Born and raised in Adelaide's northern suburbs, Tom attended Tyndale Christian School in Salisbury East before studying journalism at the University of South Australia. Tom joined The Bunyip in June 2017 after previously working in the Adelaide Hills for The Courier newspaper in Mount Barker and the Weekender Herald in Crafers. As part of his role, Tom will cover the Adelaide Plains and Playford council regions. Away from work, he is a massive sports fan and loves all things football, cricket, basketball and soccer.

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