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Council to deliver its Basslink summary by Friday

Latrobe City Council has prepared an executive summary of its analysis of the Basslink Draft Integrated Impact Statement

By Latrobe City Council - 24th August 2001 - Back to News

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Latrobe City Council has prepared an executive summary of its analysis of the Basslink Draft Integrated Impact Statement (IIAS), which it will lodge with the Basslink Joint Advisory Panel by Friday’s (31 August) deadline.

Latrobe City Councillor, Graeme Middlemiss, said a number of points would identify aspects of Latrobe’s disappointment with the quality and accuracy of the IIAS, and the failings of the document to substantiate benefits for Victoria, or in fact any practical need for the Basslink project.

"Unfortunately even though the IIAS contains a massive amount of information, much of it is of little real relevance. Additionally the IIAS lacks vital information, critical to any government making a sound judgement on whether the project should be given the go ahead," Cr Middlemiss said.

"One of our key points will be that the projected supply of peak generated electricity has changed so much since the IIAS started to be written, that it is providing data about situations which simply no longer exist. The IIAS presents findings which totally fail to identify Edison Mission Energy’s gas turbine station, the new gas fired plant at Bairnsdale, increased capacity at Loy Yang, renewable energy projects such as the Toora wind farm and the gasification plant at Morwell, AGL plants proposed for Somerton and Geelong, and the proposal for a new gas turbine plant at Maryvale. The capacity of these plants alone, is more than twice what Basslink could deliver," Cr Middlemiss said.

"Whether Basslink could deliver, is a very big if. Last summer for example, The Tasmanian hydro storage dropped to 36% capacity, ruling out supplying other than Tasmania’s own needs. Furthermore, the IIAS does not even discuss options for meeting Tasmania’s own needs, other than in the context of a Basslink scheme existing. This is misleading because it totally fails to take into account the modifications to Tasmania’s Bell Bay Power Station, thus the data used to draw conclusions in the IIAS is without foundation and nonsensical," Cr Middlemiss said.

"The more we delve into the IIAS and the strategy behind Basslink, the more we uncover the fact that Basslink is designed to underpin the Tasmanian economy at the expense of Victoria and all Victorians. The people of Victoria and the people of this region in particular are being bludgeoned into subsidising the Tasmanian economy.

"The IIAS identifies increased long-term unemployment for the Latrobe Valley as a result of Basslink, yet at the same time, calls upon the communities north of, south of, and throughout the Strzeleckis to suffer massive environmental and socioeconomic damage through Basslink, basically, because the Tasmanian Government is not prepared to foot the bill for appropriate infrastructure," Cr Middlemiss said.

"This is a project that should have already been consigned to the bin marked ‘it sounded like a good idea at the time’. Fortunately this Council, numerous other stakeholders in the Victorian economy and in the environment; even government representatives at a State and Federal level, are all realising that the people pushing the Basslink project, simply haven’t done their sums.

"While Council will deliver its summary to the Basslink Joint Advisory Panel in the short term, it is now working on its detailed submission which it will lodge after the September Council Meeting," Cr Middlemiss added.

"However to all intents and purposes, public submissions close this Friday, 31 August, and I would urge anyone opposed to Basslink, who has not done so already, to make a submission by then," Cr Middlemiss concluded.

Written submissions must be received by the Basslink Joint Advisory Panel, c/o Department of Infrastructure Traralgon Office, 120 Kay Street Traralgon 3844; no later than 4.30pm on Friday 31 August. Faxed and emailed submissions are also being accepted; fax 5174 2799, email basslink.iias@doi.vic.gov.au


Source: www.gippsland.com

Published by: latrobecity@gippslander.com



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