– For information only-
ABC News September 20th 2002
Batemans Bay police are warning drivers to expect traffic delays in the town’s central business district tomorrow with a huge turn-out expected for a rally against the charcoal plant proposed for the Mogo area on the NSW far south coast.
Police say the protest march will begin at the western end of the Clyde St car park at noon AEST and continue up Orient St, on to Beach Rd and across the Princes Highway to Mackay Park.
They are warning drivers to expect traffic delays throughout the central business district with roads closed and then reopened as the procession passes.
NSW Opposition leader John Brogden is scheduled to speak at the rally against the NSW Government’s approval of the plant, proposed by Australian Silicon for a site between Broulee and Mogo.
With the state election just six months away, the rally has drawn a bevy of politicians, including Arthur Chesterfield-Evans from the Democrats, Ian Cohen from the Greens and the Liberal and Labor candidates for the seat of Bega.
Move claims rejected
Meanwhile, Australian Silicon is rejecting claims the development will be moved.
Australian Silicon plans to burn timber for charcoal at the Mogo site and transport it to Lithgow, in the state’s central west, to produce silicon.
There has been a strong community backlash against the charcoal factory on health, road safety and environmental grounds.
The Federal Member for Eden Monaro, Gary Nairn, says he has received information the charcoal factory will instead be built alongside the silicon plant at Lithgow.
However, Peter Anderton from Australian Silcon says that is not an option.
“It is not viable to cart the timber over those distances, and on top of that the traffic, the additional traffic on the roads is significantly more,” he said.
The State Government’s approval of the Mogo charcoal factory is being challenged in the NSW Land and Environment Court.