Statement for Media
QUESTION MARK OVER POWER STATION
The Eden chipmill wood fired power station is running over two years behind schedule and will be at almost four years late if it is ever built, according to forest campaigner, Harriett Swift.
Ms Swift, who is the convener of the Chipstop Campaign against Woodchipping, says that when South East Fibre Exports (SEFE) Manager, Peter Mitchell addressed the Bega Valley Shire Council on 26th August 2008, he told Councillors that the power station would be up and running by July 2010, two months ago.
“It has not even had Government approval yet,” Ms Swift says.
“Further, chipmill spokespersons have been misleading the public about the timing of this project,” she says.
“On ABC radio last week, Vince Phillips said that he expected approval within ‘2 or 3 weeks.’”
“This did not sound very likely and on checking with the Department of Planning, there is no way that approval can be obtained within Mr Phillips’ timeframe.”
“SEFE cannot blame the Department of Planning for delays because the ball is, in fact, in SEFE’s court. Any delays are either SEFE’s own choice or due to SEFE’s inability to meet the Director General of Planning’s Requirements,” Ms Swift says.
She says that with Australia’s biggest woodchipper, Gunns Limited bowing to public opinion and announcing it will withdraw from native forest logging, it is time for SEFE to scrap its plans for the wood fired power station.
Gunns has also said it will not burn native forest wood to generate electricity.
“SEFE will eventually have to follow the lead of Gunns; it could start by announcing that it will drop plans for its wood fired power station,” Ms Swift says.
22 September 2010