Queensland’s Planning Minister has given notice of a proposed call in for a proposed coal-fired power station on a cattle property located 30 kilometres north-west of the town of Alpha.
Waratah Coal applied for a development approval to the Barcaldine Regional Council as a code assessable development, that does not require public consultation, under an outdated 2006 planning scheme.
Deputy Premier and Planning Minister Steven Miles said Barcaldine Regional Council had done a good job of assessing the application given the small council has never assessed a project of this size.
Miles added: “Currently, this application isn’t subject to public consultation – I want to make sure the community get their say on a project of this scale.
“The assessment work undertaken by the council will be very useful to the planning department in their preparation of advice to me regarding whether the project should be called in for consideration at a state level.”
The notice gives a period of 21 days for interested parties to make representations regarding the proposed call in.
Queensland Conservation Council welcomed the planning minister giving notice of his intention to call in the Galilee coal power station proposed to be built at Alpha by Clive Palmer’s Waratah Coal.
The council’s director Dave Copeman added the minister had little choice but to intervene to stop this dangerous power station from being approved through an inadequate approvals process.
Copeman said: “We have had enough of the political game playing over coal power stations – this proposal should be seen for what it is, a dangerous proposal that’s not needed, put forward through a loophole, by a company that shares the same address as a fringe political party.
“This power station would endanger our environment, it would impact on groundwater in the region, it would risk our international reputation, and it would threaten jobs in the renewable superpower industry of the future – it’s dangerous, and the minister should call it in and refuse it.
“Queensland does not need another coal fired power station to keep our lights on.
“Our existing coal power stations are already operating at lower levels as cheaper renewable energy forces fossil fuels out of the energy market.
“A 1400-megawatt coal fired power station should never be approved by a council, and definitely not without an environmental impact statement or public hearings.
“The Queensland government should be the ones deciding if we build new power stations, not Clive Palmer or a local council process that is designed to assess small scale projects like pools and sheds.
“We call on Queenslanders across the state, business, farmers, energy workers, and everyone who loves our state, to write to Minister Miles and tell him to take the only sensible option, call in this project and refuse it.”