Persisting power lines – Questions continue to come for Alinta

POWER giant, Alinta, will face ongoing scrutiny from a vocal critic of the proposed Reeves Plains power station near Mallala, after the company again met with locals last month to discuss its plans.

About 30 people attended a community meeting held in Mallala recently to hear more about Alinta Energy’s Power Station proposal.

The company has formally submitted its development application to the state government and held the meeting hoping to inform residents about the project, with specialist consultants in attendance providing details and also answering questions.

Not everyone thought the structure, or even the timing, of the meeting, which began at 5pm, was appropriate.

Fischer resident, Crystal Molloy, attended the meeting and said she came away disappointed.

Mrs Molloy, 32, lives about a kilometre from the proposed plant site with her husband Dean, and three children under the age of 10.

The family has lived in the area for more than a decade and has made the difficult decision to sell their house and move for the health and future well-being of their children.

Mrs Molloy is currently reading her way through Alinta’s 1000-odd page development application and will make “the best submission I could possibly write” against the development.

Mrs Molloy says the meeting left a lot to be desired.

“The timing and structure of the meeting was, in my opinion a tactic,” she said.

“Alinta say in the Development Application they approach stakeholders with a ‘no surprise and no stone unturned approach’,  yet some of the closest residents yet again did not receive an invite to the second community session until the last minute.

“At the information night they made us separate as a group to ask questions.

“They should’ve kept us all together so we could all hear each other’s questions incase there was one question someone hadn’t thought of.”

Of particular concern to Mrs Molloy, was data collected with regard to noise emissions.

“The week the baseline noise test was taken was extreme rain and wind, because I knew the dates they were conducting the tests, I documented the weather each day,” she said.

“I rang up an Adelaide acoustics company to get some more information on baseline testing.

“I was told if the weather is bad the data should be disregarded and another baseline test should be done.

“The Resonate Acoustics specialist agreed that that is usually what happens, but he says he got enough good data from the readings to make a baseline test report.”

Alinta Energy communications manager, Megan Taylor, said predominantly local residents attended the session, as well as those interested in potential work and supply or contracting opportunities, and it was a good opportunity to present the proposal for the Reeves Plains Power Station.

“We were also able to share with stakeholders that, wherever possible, the project design had incorporated feedback from the earlier consultation session held in July,” Ms Taylor said.

Ms Taylor said the company had utilised questions from residents and other stakeholders to define its specialist impact studies and the results of these specialist studies informed the project design.

“For example we incorporated additional screening into the project design as part of a detailed landscape plan, in order to address any potential visual impacts,” she said.

Some of the concerns raised by those in attendance had already been addressed by the specialist impact studies, Ms Taylor said, including noise and visual impacts, which were considered as part of the project design.

“We were able to provide detailed information to residents that attended the session,” she said.

“There are no further (information) sessions planned as the development application is now available for review on the state planning commission website.”

For Mrs Molloy and her family, the project is a turning point in their lives, and if it goes ahead, will see them leave the district.

“They (my children) are upset and don’t fully understand why we have to move,” she said.

“But when they get older I hope they realise that I tried to save our home from being a potential health risk.”

Visit http://www.saplanningcommission.sa.gov.au/scap/public_notices to view the Reeves Plains Power Station development application.

Leave a Reply