Dumb and Dumber

Today’s decision by the Redland City Council to block a State Government and Australian Renewable Energy Agency endorsed project highlights the inadequacy of Councillors to take the city seriously, according to Cleveland Power Director David Bray.

confused sign 2Councillors have voted against extending the application by Cleveland Power to develop the Mount Cotton Biomass Green energy plant, effectively blocking a green energy source which would have generated and supplied clean energy over 40,000 homes.

The sheer stupidity of the decision means the matter will now go back to court.

Ratepayers can expect a legal bill in the hundreds of thousands of dollars with the result being a delay to a key power supply source, 82 new jobs for the city, and a delay to a much needed and Federal and State Government acknowledged green solution to the current energy crisis.

The nations’ leading green energy agencies and authorities now see Redlands Council as a laughing stock.

There’s a few Councillors there who are incapable of grasping key issues and seem more interested in morning tea. This project has been over a decade in its planning, involves world experts and scientists from federal agencies to ensure we arrived at a clean energy plant that was world leading.

It is a project listed as one of the keys to achieving renewable energy targets set by governments and yet a handful of poorly informed non-thinkers who favour morning tea time over realistic decisions is now set to cost the ratepayers big time and place at risk long-term energy security for the city.

Council Officers made it clear in their recommendations that the project should be granted the extension.

The losers are the people of Redlands. In a city that prides itself on a green approach, they are blocking key projects and approving small lot housing. It makes no sense.

Mr Bray says Cleveland Power will now head back to the courts and Appeal the decision.

Cleveland Power will seek full cost recovery and damages likely to cost tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars in a case the Council is destined to lose.

the-plant-2

Artists impression of the plant on site

Work on the project had already commenced with the site at Mount Cotton already cleared and footings for the new building put into place.

Tenders for construction have been called and that company will now be placed on hold and those jobs now get lost to the region at least until we sort out this mess via expensive and unnecessary legal battles.

The power plant will burn approximately 60,000 tonnes of chicken litter a year, below their State Government approved limit of over 65,000 tonnes and rid the city of the ecological threat of litter storage.

This project will prevent the emission of 120,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas annually. That’s twice the mass of the chicken litter burned and equivalent to removing 30,000 vehicles from our roads.

It would generate enough power to run the entire power requirements for the city’s biggest private employer Darwalla Milling and Golden Crockel and provide power for more than 40,000 homes.

This is a Council that turns its back on a key project with global approval and yet they seriously consider approval of a huge subdivision in the area that fails to deliver even basic services such as sewerage.

poo trucksSo now, thanks to the Council, Mount Cotton looks forward to a future of chicken poo and human waste being trucked across the entire city. The mind boggles.

In the language of State Government and national clean energy experts and scientists The Cleveland Power’s Mount Cotton Project was hailed as a clever advancement and listed in future energy planning and green target reduction planning as vital.

The project would create 82 new jobs for the city, releases no odour or no toxic fumes and burns clean.

The planned site is tucked out of residential line of vision and is to be no bigger in size than a farm shed. It requires no removal of trees and has little or no environmental impact on the area.

The project is also set to greatly reduce truck movements on dangerous Mount Cotton road as litter no longer will have to trucked out of the city and is earmarked to be built on site that requires no land clearing or removal of any trees.

We’ll now have to go back to court in a move that is set to cost the ratepayers of the city many hundreds of thousands of dollars, delay 82 new jobs for the city and remove a power supply boost to 40,000 homes.

And worst of all, it’s one of the state’s most outrageous anti-green decisions seen in years, delivered courtesy of the Redland City Councilors.