Climate Activists Slam Gas Plant at Tomago Protest

School Strike For Climate Change protestors at Tomago.

 

YOUTH are the future and they are the people who will live through the results of inaction on climate change.

Last week members of Climate Action Port Stephens (CAPS) joined the School Strike for Climate Change in a bid to change government policy around a gas fuelled recovery for Australia.

CAPS President Alisha Onslow said, “The federal government’s announcement this week that they plan to spend more than $600 million of taxpayers money on a new gas power station at Kurri Kurri beggars belief.

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“This is a gift to the government’s political mates and party donors in the gas industry.

“We do not need this power station.

“It is a reckless waste of public money that will push up power prices, damage farmland and worsen climate change.”

While Onslow did not hold back in the opposition to the gas power station scheduled for Kurri Kurri she was more positive about the manufacturing of batteries at Tomago.

“Here at Tomago, a giant battery factory will soon be built, supporting the transition to a zero carbon, renewables powered future which nearly everyone knows is inevitable and essential,” she said.

She believes that the federal government is stubbornly resisting the advice of experts and the business and financial community by artificially propping up the fossil fuel industries, who remain major donors to the major political parties.

AGL have already shelved their approved plans for a gas power station at Tomago, as it is not commercially viable.

Experts including the government’s own advisers say that new gas generation is not necessary, and that to meet our emissions reduction targets no new fossil fuel investments should be made.

“A government subsidised plant at Kurri Kurri makes no sense,” said Alisha.

“Instead of gifting public money to big corporations through projects that we don’t need, politicians should support local communities by investing in renewable energy that creates jobs, provides cheap, clean power, and supports farming.

“Port Stephens can play a big role in a just transition for the Hunter region – building on the proposed battery factory and approved solar farm, and other high-tech industries, in the Heatherbrae-Tomago-Williamtown business zone.”

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the Government had given the private sector every opportunity and is fulfilling its promise to deliver the cheap, reliable power that NSW households, businesses and industries needed to prosper and grow.

“Cheap power is crucial to ensuring families, businesses and job-creating industries in NSW can thrive, which is why we are committed to replacing the energy generated by Liddell to keep prices down,” Minister Taylor said.

“This important project is good news for NSW as well as the broader National Electricity Market.

“We were very clear from the start – we will not stand by and watch prices go up and the lights go off.

“This project will deliver flexible gas generation to replace Liddell and maintain reliable power alongside Australia’s world-leading investment in renewables,” he said.

However with clean and green energy a priority for environmental groups and future generations there is opposition to gas and coal fuelled power.

Dr Madeline Taylor, an expert in energy and natural resources law at the University of Sydney also warns that the funding for Kurri Kurri creates a policy signal that could now reinvigorate the dormant petroleum exploration licences in NSW, which could see gas development of prime agricultural land in the Hunter region to supply more gas.

 

By Marian SAMPSON

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