The proposed Bayswater power station upgrade will not be referred to the Independent Planning Commission for consideration as it has been declared critical state significant infrastructure.
Forty two submissions were received with all but one objecting to the $200 million upgrade.
Even though the project attracted enough public objections than the 25 ordinarily needed to trigger a public meeting, the project will be determined by the Minister for Planning.
“A public meeting could be held at the Minister’s discretion,” A Department of Planning spokesman said.
AGL wants to upgrade power station as part of its plan to close nearby Liddell power station in 2022.
The upgrade, which will create 90 jobs, will involve replacing the 33-year-old turbines with modern turbine technology that will produce an additional 100MW capacity, enough energy for up to 100,000 average Australian homes.
Many of the submissions were critical of the project’s environmental impact.
“This major investment in Bayswater suggests that it will be operated for many years, so should be required to install modern pollution control technologies at the same time so the health burden does not continue for years,” Ben Ewald’s submission read.
“Power stations overseas are obliged to use post combustion desulphurisation to control sulphur dioxide, and catalytic converters to control oxides of nitrogen.”
“We would not allow cars with the same pollution as in the 1980s, so why would we put up with it from power stations? An efficiency improvement is a good thing, but must come with pollution controls.”
East Maitland resident Jan Davis said she was concerned pollution controls did not appear to have been factored in as part of the upgrade.
“I am quite appalled that the Bayswater upgrade for the power station did not include pollution controls for high levels of all the contaminants that are emitted from this power station,” she said.
“These include sulphur dioxide, nitrous oxides and 2.5 fine particle emissions which are injurious to health of all animals, including human…I believe that there is no excuse not to have world's best practice pollution controls to improve Hunter air quality.”
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