Environment groups in NSW Hunter say that a Kurri Kurri gas-fired power station is a “white elephant” which will harm their grandchildren’s future.
Monday’s announcement by Sussan Leey, Federal Environment Minister, was that Hunter Power Project has been granted final environmental approval. This follows a thorough assessment.
Ms Ley stated that the plant’s 660 MW capacity will create 600 direct jobs at peak construction, and 1200 indirect jobs in the state.
Environment activists claim that the community has been misled by the power plant’s promise of creating a lot of jobs locally.
Lynn Benn, of the Gas Free Hunter Alliance, said that the project is divisive within Kurri Kurri.
Ms Benn stated that some people believe it will bring a lot more jobs to the area.
“We desperately need jobs so there are some people who support it but have been misled about the downstream benefits.”
According to Snowy Hydro, the government-owned energy company Snowy Hydro’s Environmental Impact Statement to the NSW Planning Department, there will be ten permanent full-time local jobs and 250 full-time positions during construction.
There were 221 submissions made by individuals. The NSW major projects website had 217 objections. Three of these offered commentary.
Ms Benn suggested that the site could be used as an innovation center instead.
“There were high expectations for that particular site. She said that it could have been a regenerative center for many incubator industries and new start ups.
“But that type of activity isn’t going to come and share site with a with gas power plants, so it’s a lost chance for jobs.”
Jan Davis, president Hunter Environment Lobby, said that the project was a wasteful use of taxpayer money.
“We don’t need it. Ms. Davis stated that renewables are becoming more popular, and she told AAP.
“There is a greater risk that this will turn out to be a white Elephant.”
She expressed concern about the future of her grandchildren as well as the region’s future.
Ms. Davis said, “It is a world of uncertainty not just with jobs in the future, but if you keep going down the oil-fuel path, what kind of what kind of certainty?
“We have floods, fires and cyclones. We also have tropical weather in places that we have never seen them before. I worry about my grandchildren’s future.”