Power station provokes concern

Issue 

Power station provokes concern

By Elaine Chew

Federal and state government greenhouse reduction policies proved ineffective as the NSW Land and Environment Court gave approval for the Redbank power station in the Hunter Valley region on November 10.

NSW already has an overcapacity of 50% in power generation, and Australia is one of the worst three greenhouse gas producers, per person, in the world.

Keith Tarlo, climate change campaigner for Greenpeace, urged the federal government to treat greenhouse gas emissions as pollutants. Until comprehensive energy efficiency and public transport programs are established, Greenpeace has asked for a moratorium on all new major road and power station developments.

In December 1992, the National Greenhouse Response Strategy was signed by all states and the federal government, agreeing to decrease emissions by 20% by the year 2005. Since then, however, $13 billion has been set for major road construction, and a further $6 billion on power stations.

"The federal and state governments' greenhouse policies aren't worth the paper they're written on because they are unenforceable at the local level where many important planning decisions are made", Tarlo stated.

"Greenhouse gas emissions must be the critical factor in decisions on all major developments such as new tollways and coal-fired power stations like Redbank, which are the worst greenhouse polluters."