A consortium led by ActewAGL is seeking to build a business park comprising data centres and offices and a 45MW (MegaWatt) gas-fired turbine power station (comprising 3 x Titan 130 (PDF) jet turbines) on Broadacre land in a rural buffer zone within 1km of homes in Tuggeranong district in Southern Canberra.
Breaking news - 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."
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.
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.
Opinion polls - updated results as at 19 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)
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 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.
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
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
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.
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
- 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.
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.