Seeking answers on a garbage issue
WHEN Energy Australia last week announced a welcome $80 million upgrade to its Mt Piper generators it triggered immediate whispers of preparation for the elusive Sydney waste disposal plan.
But not so says EA; It's an upgrade to ensure a longer working life for the power station.
Meanwhile, reporting on the Mt Piper work, the Australian Financial Review said that EA was 'studying means for 30 kilowatt more capacity without more coal, instead using non recyclable plastics and other refuse''.
So, the timing is probably just coincidental that EA next week is hosting information sessions on its, quote, ''waste burning plans" at Lithgow Library (Monday 1 to 6 pm), Wang Library (Tuesday 10 to 1) and Portland Library (Tuesday 2 to 6).
It's more than 12 months since, without undue fanfare, it was announced that EA was in discussions with the NSW Government over the possibility of burning thousands of tonnes of Sydney garbage a month at Mt Piper.
There was no secret of the fact this would mean hundreds of additional daily truck movements over the Mountains and along the Castlereagh Highway and no mention of where Sydney's garbage would be stockpiled.
Until now there has been surprisingly little comment from anyone associated with the issue. Usually vocal anti coal lobbyists have said nothing and Lithgow or Blue Mountains Councils have not publicly declared their position.
This is in stark contract to the public revolt in the past when a Labor NSW government wanted to gift us a toxic waste disposal 'business' and private enterprise wanted approval for Sydney garbage dumping at our mine sites (shipped in by rail).
Both were quickly knocked on the head despite Council to receive royalties.
Next week will provide what may well be a final opportunity for answers as to just how we're now obviously to become a handy dumping ground for a Sydney problem.
Main Street mystery
PLENTY of sidewalk speculation lately about the work again under way on the old church-like building adjacent to Lithgow's Queen Elizabeth Park.
An informed word from the street is that it will become a restaurant/wine bar to complement our social amenities.
In past commercial life the site was a storage facility for the former Bracey stores and a used car lot for a succession of Ford dealerships (Bracey, Genders, D and J) who occupied the nearby premises now owned by Lithgow Bike Stop and Brake Pro.
Some years back some obviously costly work began on the building but then had been at a standstill until now.
Depths of Winter
THE extreme weather of recent days has emphasised the uncomfortable fact that this is indeed Mid Winter Week.
So there are better days ahead, albeit an all too slow approach. Meantime, spare a thought for those unable to afford adequate warmth while Lithgow is at its climatic worst.
It's a disturbing reality of life for all too many in our lucky country.