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A consortium led by ActewAGL is seeking to build data storage warehouses supported by a polluting 45MW (MegaWatt) fossil-fuel gas-fired power station (comprising 24/7 x 3 jet turbines) on Broadacre land in a rural buffer zone next to homes in the Tuggeranong Valley, Canberra

25 September 2008: CPR launches "Leave Labor Blank" campaign

CPR have produced 2 flyers calling for the electorate to "Leave Labor Blank" in an effort to create a more evenly distributed balance of power in the Legislative Assembly

Make your vote count on October 18

29 August, 2008 - Legal opinion to ACTPLA: Unlawful to approve data centres on Broadacre
Development CANNOT proceed on this site

CPR Inc's Solicitors have issued the legal opinion to ACTPLA that they cannot lawfully approve the development as the data centres are not a "communications facility", which is what the development application purports the data centre buildings to be.

The legal opinion concludes that the development cannot go ahead:
"Because the data centres component of the proposed development is not a "communications facility", approval of the proposal would be contrary to section 8 of the Land Act and hence is a course not lawfully open to ACTPLA."

Download the legal opinion here ( Adobe PDF 0.9Mb ) - J.S. O'Connor Harris & Co. - 29 August 2008

Chief Minister's commitment to uphold lawful planning process (MP3 Audio 1.7Mb) - ABC 666 - 29 August 2008

Data centre not allowed on planned site: lawyer (JPEG Image 152Kb) - Canberra Times - 30 August 2008

Care of Plans Neil Savery, Chief Planning Executive ACTPLA - Canberra Times Letters - 04 September 2008

18 August, 2008 - Sacked health experts speak out

The health experts of the HIASG (Health Impact Assessment Steering Group), set up to independently assess the health impacts on the community of the gas-fired power station and data centre proposal, have spoken out against the Government scrapping their involvement.

Experts 'silenced' on gas plant - Canberra Times - 18 August, 2008

Letter from sacked health experts, Professors Anthony Capon & Helen Keleher - 18 August, 2008:
Forsaking expert input unhealthy for democracy

The document they don't want you to see: CPR Inc's submission to the HIASG

On Friday 1st August, CPR Inc (Canberrans for Power station Relocation) presented a submission to the 4 members of the HIASG (Health Impact Assessment Steering Group) and 2 representatives of Golders, the consulting company preparing documentation for the Government.

The submission was on behalf of all the community members who had approached us, including their own comments on how they were feeling and what impact this development proposal had already had on them given its chaotic process to date.

Click here to download the CPR Inc submission to the HIASG ( 1.6Mb Adobe PDF)

Opinion polls - updated results as at 30 August, 2008

WIN TV News - 28 July, 2008
Q: Do you think the Stanhope government's consultation process is effective?
A: YES 15% - NO 85%

Canberra Times - 17 July, 2008
Q: Where should Canberra's proposed power station be built?
A: 964 Votes:
- Williamsdale (34%)
- Hume (33.9%)
- Belconnen (18.8%)
- Tuggeranong (13.3%)

WIN TV News - 15 July, 2008
Q: Do you support the Macarthur Power Station and Data Centre proposal?
A: YES 28% - NO 72%

Canberra Times - 5 June, 2008
Q: What do you think of the new Canberra Power Station design?
A: 741 Votes:
- A big improvement (18.6%)
- I liked the old design more (21.1%)
- They are both eyesores (60.3%)

Our flyer with the pollution map (click to enlarge)

CPR Inc produced and distributed a flyer promoting Wednesday's community consultation for the health impact assessment (PDF 2.6Mb) to "hot spot" suburbs including the images of the Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) pollution spread and the image from the front page of our submission to ACTPLA which shows the scale of this large power station compared to Bruce stadium

The map image of Nitrogen Dioxide has four levels of shading in the image from the lowest level of 0-2mg/m3 (micrograms per metre cubed), 2-5, 5-10 and then greater than 10 mg/m3 being the darkest red hot spots

The source of the map is figure 7.1 in the proponents' plume study (Appendix K) on page 29 (page 38 in a PDF reader) available from ACTPLA's website here:
Plume Study, Appendix K of proponents' Preliminary Assessment

The map shows the power station's ADDITIONAL pollution to be added to existing levels caused by Tuggeranong valley's inversion layer, because it specifically is stated to EXCLUDE existing background levels as you will see in the figure's label

Our image is created by Dr Chris Klootwjik who is a life-long research scientist with a geological/geophysical background. He is a Honorary Visiting Fellow at the Research School of Earth Science of the Australian National University, but expresses here his private views that bear no relation whatsoever to the ANU. He holds shares in geothermal energy companies and resides in Macarthur but wants all of Canberra to understand this is not a localised issue.

What's happening? Approaching 4,500 of you have signed the petition

Canberrans for Power station Relocation Inc (CPR) submitted their objection against the power station and data centres project. You can download a copy of our submission below:
CPR Inc Submission version 2 (Large file alert: 9.7Mb - 137 pages)

Although the closing date for submissions was 1 July 2008, you can still submit comments to ACTPLA. Our How to object page remains available with some talking points.

Wednesday 25 June - rally report
Thankyou everyone who came along!
Details & pictures of the rally here

Download the studies referenced in the Preliminary Application main report (ALERT: large files)
- Hume Industrial Planning Study (PDF 12.7MB)
- Southern Broadacre Study (ZIP - 45MB)


ActewAGL went back to the drawing board after submitting flawed plans including an incorrect pollution study, confirming it could have poisoned everyone in Canberra.

The gas turbines will run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and pump out up to half a million kgs of exhaust gases an hour.

This gas power station has been incorrectly called clean and "near-zero" emissions. It is fossil-fuel based and increases our environmental footprint, emitting at least 187,000 tonnes of carbon greenhouse gases yearly, impacting climate change

The combustion process produces the poison Nitrogen Dioxide, as well as other pollutants. Nitrogen Dioxide is especially damaging to the young, those with Asthma, and pre-existing respiratory problems. It has also been linked to an increase in Cot Death (SIDS)

The plume report submitted in support of the Development Application is flawed and a dangerous increase in Nitrogen Dioxide levels resulting in the poisoning of Canberrans through the wind blowing the pollutants across Canberra

Similar gas fired power stations are located in heavy industrial areas away from urban development. Our objective is to persuade the ACT Government and ActewAGL to do the same and relocate the development to a site away from Canberra's residential suburbs

The diagram below shows the suburbs within 6km of the power station that would be impacted the most with the highest emissions exposure, noise and light pollution before the smog is blown further across Canberra

"Shrunk" power station re-opened for submissions to ACTPLA

ACTPLA published the Preliminary Assessment and Development Application and are inviting submissions again - it is important to do so before 1st July.

The "shrunk" gas-fired power station now comprises initially of 3 jet engine turbines (at least 2 to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week). With just 2 running, the exhaust emissions are over 350,000kgs per hour (3 billion kgs per year) - Titan 130 gas turbine (PDF)

The community still has not had confirmation of job numbers, business case, return on investment, risk assessment.
Still, we are not opposed to the idea of data centres but the site location in the broadacre buffer zone and within 1km of homes is inappropriate given its environmental impact to Woden, Tuggeranong & Jerrabomberra valleys and the precedent this sets for Belconnen's site and any others planned across Canberra in the future.

Action: Public comment on EPBC ACT supplement - required by 5pm Thursday 26 June

Bilateral agreement relating to Environmental Impact Assessment

The agreement will allow the Australian Government Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts to rely on specified environmental impact assessment processes of the Australian Capital Territory in assessing actions under the EPBC Act.

Why are we concerned?

View the videos: Video part 1 - Video part 2

Because the power station will impact the environment and affect the health of thousands of Canberrans

Because the site was advertised in the media as being in Hume, but isn't - it's in the district of Tuggeranong, within 1km of residential suburbs in Southern Canberra

Because the project appears to be more about profits than it is about benefit to the people of Canberra

Because the public hasn't been properly informed or consulted

Background information

- ActewAGL filed plans to build a huge gas-fired (fossil fuel) power station with construction to begin next month (June 2008)
- The Government issued horse eviction notices for the proposed site in Tuggeranong (not Hume) on 15th February, 2008
- The Development Application although dated 26th February wasn't filed with ACTPLA (planning and land authority) until 27th March
- The Government was ready to move the permanent care centre due to environmental impact concerns including noise and pollution
- Other sites are planned, including one near Belconnen (Macgregor)
- Sir Walter Burley Griffin's Territory Plan specifies this broadacre land to preserve Canberra's rural setting and harmony
- The Government is pledging the broadacre land, part of the broadacre buffer zone - once it's gone, what next?
- The buildings contain thousands of square metres of offices so would be required to be built in an industrial area
- The Planning Minister, Andrew Barr, indicated on 7 May that an Environmental Impact Statement should be required
- We agree, given the potential negative impact of this development on the environment including wildlife and people
- We pose the question why use old gas-fired technology when sustainable/renewable sources could be considered?

Broadacre land use (part of the vegetation corridor neighbouring Wanniassa Hills nature reserve)

When questioned about the proposed Tuggeranong site's suitability, Mr Costello stated that the development met all the conditions of use for the zoning of the land (Broadacre, per the territory plan).

However, as you will see in the plans submitted to ACTPLA as part of the Development Application and in Canberra Technology City's press release last year - the data centre buildings contain 3 floors of air-conditioned office space. This means the development is not a "communications facility" such as a satellite dish or radio antenna mast per the Territory Plan definition.

"Next-generation data centres on radar - The base model, which will cost about $60 million in Australia, also includes office space and, most importantly, air conditioning."
Stephen Ellis, Technical Real Estate from original press release.

The Galileo Connect buildings called GC2 are very large buildings (approximately 60 metres long, 30 metres wide and 21 metres tall) and they each contain an office floor. This floor plan and this cross section show these in the Development Application plans submitted to ACTPLA.

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Disclaimer: This web site was created to aid Canberra residents in gaining information regarding the ACTEWAGL proposed development of a major utility gas-fired power station and data centre. The contents of this site have been provided by other concerned residents who do not have the resources, either time nor money, that ACTEWAGL have to commission investigations, surveys and reports. These residents do have some skills and expertise in the areas they have provided details. They may make mistakes in their figures, especially those relating to high technology. They did not do this deliberately to mislead and any corrections are welcomed. We ask that you use this web site as a source of information and research details for yourself. The creators of this web site do not support all the views contained on this web site and again stress this site is provided as a resource for Canberrans to gain information and support research into this $2 billion project. It will affect you - use your voice.