Lithgow deputy mayor Wayne McAndrew has publicly criticised a response from the Department of Premier and Cabinet in regards to the future of the former Wallerawang Power Station site.
Lithgow City Council general manager Graeme Faulkner exchanged emails with DPC executive director Steve Orr last week.
In his email on December 5, Mr Faulkner stated he was writing, at the request of mayor Cr Ray Thompson and deputy mayor Cr Wayne McAndrew, to seek advice as to whether the State Government could get involved in the demolition process.
Particularly, that involvement would have “the objective of retaining those buildings on site that may be of value to future Business/Commercial occupants,” the correspondence stated.
The DPC’s response, which was the state that the “final decision as to the future of the site is in EnergyAustralia’s hands”, was slammed by Cr McAndrew.
“The Lithgow community had accepted verbal undertakings over a number of years that the remediation of the site would be undertaken in a context of accommodating tangible benefits for the Wallerawang and Lithgow communities with economic development particularly in mind, and this has now not eventuated,” he said.
“It is my strong view, that just as the DPC has walked away from the communities of Wallerawang and Lithgow, those communities should now ‘wash their hands and walk away’ from those that have made representations to us that the Wallerawang and Lithgow communities would be looked after when the time came for remediation.”
The DPC urged council to remain involved in the process, stating that “continued engagement with EnergyAustralia to encourage them to consider options for the reuse of the Wallerawang site would be beneficial”.
The Lithgow Mercury approached the DPC on this issue.
“Any questions regarding the future of Wallerawang Power station should be directed to Energy Australia, which is the owner of this facility,” a statement from a DCP spokesperson stated.
The future of the buildings on the Wallerawang site has been the subject of considerable local controversy since EnergyAustralia confirmed its intention of going ahead with the demolition of building on the site.
In response, a party interested in pursuing business interests on the site, Real Axis Pty Ltd, spoke out against the proposed plans, which would, in the opinion of the company’s directors, significantly reduce its value for future development.
Owner of the site, EnergyAustralia, has previously declined to make a public statement about its talks with individual companies.