Residents ask tough questions of Alinta power plant proposal

News of a proposed gas and diesel run power plant not far from Mallala has local residents up in arms, with at least one homeowner vowing to sell and move on even before the project is officially given the green light.

Energy retailer, Alinta, first announced it was planning to build a $450 million power plant in June, with a community drop-in information session about the project held last week at the Mallala Oval Complex.

While the drop-in session attracted around 100 people during the course of the evening, Fischer resident, Crystal Molloy, says she came away from it with more questions than answers and is seriously considering selling her house and moving for the health and well-being of her young family.

Mrs Molloy, 32, lives about a kilometre from the proposed plant site with her husband Dean, and three children under the age of 10, and has lived in the area for more than a decade.

She “absolutely” does not want to see a power plant built in her “backyard”.

“I don’t want it there at all,” she said.

“The noise, the lights, we moved out here for the peace and quiet, for the country lifestyle, (and) having a power plant built here, it was the last thing on our mind that could ever get built.”

Mrs Molloy said not only was there a potential drop in house and land value, but felt there was a very real risk of ill-health due to possible water contamination and air emissions.

“I’ve got three young children, I’m worried about what health risks we’re going to have down the track,” she said.

“We’d definitely move, even if this doesn’t get the go-ahead and is a big flop, we have to move.”

Mrs Molloy said she found the information given at the community drop-in session last week misleading, and the representatives present, contradictory.

“They couldn’t answer the questions that I had, it was like a ‘pass the buck’ type of thing,” she said.

“I think they are just telling us the information they want us to know. What aren’t they telling us?”

Alinta’s communications manager, Megan Taylor, attended the consultation, saying residents asked specific and detailed questions.

“We had more than 100 local people attend the drop-in consultation and feedback session and many people asked quite detailed questions, which is a great thing,” Ms Taylor said.

“We also got some feedback and suggestions, which will influence the design of our project for when we submit the development approval process and undertake four weeks of consultation as part of that process.”

Ms Taylor said the company hoped to encourage as much input as possible from residents about the proposal and said there would likely be more community meetings to follow.

“We want to ensure the detail about the proposal is transparent and accurate, so the community is able the meaningfully respond to the proposed plans,” she said.

If you wish to provide feedback about the proposal visit https://www.alintaenergy.com.au/about-us/power-generation/reeves-plains-power-station-proposal or contact 1300 311 040 for more information.

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