AAADPP UPDATE SEPTEMBER 28
Apologies for the lack of recent updates. There have been a few things gong on over the last month or so….
The Dalton Power Project Community Consultative Committee:
AGL’s attempt to establish the DPPCCC and tick the consultation box failed. No such CCC will be established unless the PAC approves the MOD1 application. We had a number of conversations and exchanged a number of emails with Kathy Jones, the appointed Chair for the CCC. After looking further into the history and circumstances of AGL’s DPP proposal, Kathy agreed that there was absolutely no point in establishing the CCC at this stage in the process. We received the following in an email from Mike Young, Director of Resource Assessments, Department of Planning:
“To update you on the CCC, Kathy Jones has recommended deferring the establishment of the committee until after the PAC makes its decision. The Department has accepted Kathy’s recommendation.”
More below about AGL’s most recent attempts to tick the “consultation” box ….
AGL lies in their 2012 meeting with the PAC
In their meeting with the Planning Assessment Commission in June 2012, AGL told the PAC that “…9FA turbines have been in operation in Australia since 1990s. They are not new technology.” This statement is contained in the PAC’s “DETERMINATION OF THE PROPOSED DALTON POWER PROJECT
(MP10_0035)”. We were unable to identify any 9FA turbines in Australia and sought clarification from AGL.
The existence or otherwise of the 9FA was clearly a material fact which formed part of the PAC’s decision. AGL was seeking to distance the DPP from the well documented scenarios which transpired at Uranquinty, Alice Springs and Laverton where the gas peaking generators failed completely to comply with the noise limits imposed.
In an email response from AGL, it confirmed that there are not any 9FA turbines in operation in Australia, nor have there ever been any. DP&E were cc’d in on these email exchanges. We have not yet had a response from DP&E regarding what ramifications there will be for AGL for this and other lies (including the “500 full-time equivalent jobs” statement in the current MOD1 application) it has proffered about material facts upon which assessments and decisions have been based….
Macro Issues ; Politics, Electricity and Gas market “Crises”:
There are obviously alot of things going on at both the Federal and State levels with respect to failures in the electricity and gas markets. I was going to bang on a bit about all of that, but I’ll leave it alone…
What is most relevant is AGL’s response to these machinations, as revealed at their AGM yesterday. Basically, Liddell will be closed by 2022. AGL will be developing significant renewables capacity (solar and wind). It is still however proposing up to 750MW gas peaking development, including possibly repurposing Liddell and also considering “sites in Newcastle and elsewhere in NSW”. The Liddell repurposing to gas seems perhaps likely given that AGL is also proposing battery storage at that site and that there will be no coal-fired generation post-2022.
So we are still on AGL’s radar. But we will continue to make as much noise as possible to ensure that AGL knows that we will not let them run roughshod over us if they want to pursue the DPP. We will fight it all the way.
AGL’s Recent Attempt at Ticking the “Consultation” Box:
The DPPCCC may have been knocked on the head, but AGL is persistent in its desire to pretend that it has engaged with us. Recently, several of us received a request from AGL’s new DPP Community Engagement team to meet with us individually to “hear your stories and concerns and ideas first hand rather than by reading emails and letters and submissions”.
Dianne Knott has bailed from AGL and Tony Chappel has been seen scurrying around carrying his boss’s bags like an excited schoolgirl going to meetings with Malcolm et al. So our new Community Relations spokesmuppets are Jasmine and Alex.
Jasmine tells us that she is “committed to collaborating with the local communities of our operating assets, projects or proposed projects in a very transparent and authentic way and I see an opportunity to do things differently from the way we have managed our engagement in Dalton so far”. Blah, blah… However, being new to the project, she knows nothing and wanted US to bring her up to speed and assist AGL in preparing an adequate response to our submissions!! Yeah, right Jasmine….
We have told Jasmine to go away and read the submissions and that we have no interest in meeting with her or anyone from AGL at this point in time. Our position remains the same and any meeting would be a complete waste of our precious time. We also took the opportunity to reiterate our dissatisfaction with AGL’s refusal to address the questions we have asked and to provide us with the data that we have requested on numerous occasions. These communications were also cc’d to DP&E to ensure that Planning is reminded (again) of AGL’s failures and aware of these fruitless, intrusive and annoying attempts to prove that it has consulted with us.
Despite our refusal to meet with them, Jasmine and Alex are coming to Dalton on October 11. “In the meantime, Alex and I are going to come to Dalton on Wednesday 11th October so that we can better understand the site, the lay of the land and your township as well as meet anyone that is prepared to meet with us”. There is a good chance that they will try another “door-knock”, so make sure your dogs are hungry and not tied up!!
We have received no indication as to when we can expect AGL to submit its Submissions Response Report. An email from Jasmine last night indicated that they are preparing one, and again suggested that we might like to help them to make sure it is “adequate”:
“I just thought I would send you a quick email to let you know that I have now had the opportunity to read all of the submissions. I have also read our ‘work in progress’ draft response to submissions report – but I think it still needs some more work to adequately respond to all of the issues raised. Sometimes it is easier to respond to technical issues but not the trust, integrity and social license issues. At some stage, I would really like to talk to you or Andrea (or others) – even just on the phone – about our draft responses and what, if anything, we can do to address some of your key issues and concerns – I accept that you may not be comfortable with this though.”
Given that AGL’s preferred “engagement” technique has always been ambush, there is every chance that Jasmine’s suggestion that the SRR “still needs some more work” is an attempt to lull us into a false sense of security…
So we wait, the prospect of this development hanging over our heads, plans on hold. We maintain that the application is flawed and should be rejected. Hopefully the DP&E will scrutinise very carefully any submissions response that is lodged, respect our valid and serious concerns and tell AGL to bugger off out of here!! We will keep you posted as things develop…