My name is Steven and I am a new resident of Gunning.
I purchased land in Gunning and moved from Canberra in 2016 seeking to lead a more environmentally aware and sustainable lifestyle. This has been a dream for me since my teenage years. My father was born in the Bega valley and I spent many weekends and holidays at the farm while I was growing up. This allowed me to develop a love for the bush, quiet open spaces and small country towns. This love of the rural landscape is one of the reasons I picked Gunning.
My father was also an avid gardener and I remember his veggie garden from home, the crops of carrots, tomatoes and strawberries. I also like to grow my own veggies and now with the ability to be able to share the excess with friends and family.
I work in the Information Technology industry so have an understanding and love of technology, However I still believe in our ability to live in a connected modern society while still being environmentally responsible. To this end, I made the decision to stay disconnected from the power grid and produce my energy from renewables, solar and lithium battery storage. I have no generator backup, choosing a carbon-neutral power generation. When I told my 13-year-old son he was horrified, fearing not being able to play his Xbox. After explaining renewables to him, he found the idea exciting and loves telling his friends about it. If a 13-year-old can understand the benefits of fully renewable power generation, I cannot understand why the folks at AGL cannot?
AGL’s gas-fired power plant will destroy this local community, producing not only greenhouse gases, but other pollution in the form of fine particulates falling on our land, roofs and contaminating our drinking water supply. It will also produce noise pollution and vibrations. There is also the visual pollution of the plant itself. Such a massive industrial complex really does not suit a small farming community.
Gunning is a beautiful, friendly and vibrant little community with pull with the “grey nomads” and a weekend trade with a monthly community market, quaint coffee shops, and the “fruit and veggie stall”. We get visitors from around the region and a strong presence of road cyclists in their bicycle shorts, and motorcyclists – both road and adventure riders – stopping at the pub for lunch.
This community is likely to be destroyed by AGL’s proposal. Really, who would want to visit with such a large industrial complex up the road?
I urge AGL to abandon their gas-fired power plant proposal and instead invest their $1.5 billion dollars into renewables and grid storage. Doing so would make them not only a responsible global citizen, but give them leadership credentials in the renewable energy and storage debate and save a beautiful small town, my town.