Lithgow City Council has called on EnergyAustralia to speak at a public meeting on two recent proposals concerning the Wallerawang and Mt Piper Power Station sites.
Councillor Wayne McAndrew introduced a motion to council at the meeting on Monday, April 23, seeking an “urgent and detailed presentation and explanation” on the company’s application to cap ash dams with Sydney soil, as well as its proposal to use ‘refuse derived fuel’ (non-recyclable waste) as an additional fuel source at Mt Piper Power Station.
Cr McAndrew also raised the future of the Wallerawang Power Station site.
“The company has advised they have sought a number of expressions of interest for future site use opportunities,” he said.
“After four years nothing has eventuated and I am concerned that nothing ever will.”
Cr McAndrew suggested EnergyAustralia speak at a public meeting.
“In the past forty years there has been a number of proposals by different governments and organisations to dump, burn or fill part of our local government area with waste from Sydney,” he said.
“That has resulted in a number of public meetings being called.
"If they [EnergyAustralia] are not willing to support and confront their arguments in an open public meeting, then I don’t think they can ask for the support of the nine councillors here.”
A spokesperson for EnergyAustralia has told the Lithgow Mercury that the company would ‘welcome’ the opportunity to update the community on their operations.
“Today major projects simply can’t proceed without the community’s support. Any project we do has to be socially and environmentally acceptable,” the spokesperson said.
The proposal to invite EnergyAustralia to a public meeting hosted by council and chaired by an independent party was passed unanimously by councillors during the April council meeting.
At the March meeting council voted to submit concerns to the Department of Planning and Assessment on EA’s plan to cover ash deposits in Wallerawang with soil transported by truck from Sydney.
Mayor Stephen Lesslie has also expressed concerns with EA’s proposal to burn refuse derived fuel as a secondary fuel at Mt Piper Power Station.
In last week’s meeting Cr Steve Ring said the proposal should be discussed ‘dispassionately’.
“It’s something that we do need information on, it can be an emotive issue for people. But it’s one we need to look at dispassionately because it will assist the community, it will provide jobs potentially and help with ensuring we have reasonable electricity supplies,” he said.
Cr Joe Smith called for information on the Wallerawang Power Station site.
“We need to have some answers and now.”