Goulburn MP Pru Goward has called on energy company AGL to lodge a fresh application under existing planning laws for its gas-fired power station at Dalton.
Hers is one of 400 submissions that have flooded into the Department of Planning and Environment over the $1.5 billion proposal.
The company has applied for a two-year extension on a 2012 approval for the 100 megawatt plant, aimed at supplying power during peak demand. It wants the time to consider its viability.
But residents and people further afield have bombarded bureaucrats with submissions. The Department confirmed on Friday that it had received 396 objections, two letters of support and two comments.
The majority of submissions came from people located more than 50 kilometres away from Dalton, however about three-quarters of the Dalton community lodged letters, a spokesman said.
“The community raised a number of issues in regards to the proposed extension, including a lack of community consultation by AGL, the need for a new environmental assessment, the effect on local farms, ongoing uncertainty, and economic impacts to the community which have changed since the project was approved in 2012,” executive director for resource assessments, David Kitto said.
Ms Goward has argued that the company’s modification request was not related to the original approval and should not be treated under soon to be repealed Part 3A planning laws. Instead, it should fall under current legislation.
The MP said company representatives told her that they were planning to use liquefied natural gas converted from the nearby Moomba pipeline. It would mean trucking in the gas and was “very different” to the original plan.
“They are also thinking about new technologies which will also mean more noise along with the trucks and for all those reasons I don’t think it can be treated under an old part of the Planning Act that we all tossed out,” she told The Post.
Dalton resident and member of the Australians Against Dalton Power Project group, Phil Waine has thanked Ms Goward for her advocacy. He has also urged her to convince her colleagues to “cut the tail off” Part 3A before it is “misused” again.
The Department will require AGL to respond to issues raised in the submissions. Planners will then assess the modification, considering all the information.
The Department will then make a recommendation to the independent Planning Assessment Commission, which will make the final decision. Mr Waine hoped to secure a Gunning hearing, as occurred in 2012.
Public submissions can soon be viewed on the Department’s website at http://majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au