– For information only –
ABC News September 16th 2002
Labor Party representatives are breaking ranks over the NSW Government’s approval of the Australian Silicon charcoal factory planned near Mogo on the NSW south coast.
The facility will supply charcoal for a silicon manufacturing at Lithgow in the state’s central west.
Earlier this year, Planning NSW approved the charcoal factory in the face of strong community opposition.
At the weekend Country Labor conference in Cooma NSW Premier Bob Carr said the development was a fait accompli.
The Moruya branch of the ALP moved a motion against the plant at the conference, and the Labor candidate for Bega, Wilma Chinnock, says the site is still under discussion.
“We keep going back to the company and saying, ‘is it in your best interests to put it in this area when the local opposition is very, very organised, very rational and wanting to fight you all the way?'” she said.
“Is that a good economic decision to make?
“So we have to really work hard on this…the debate is not over.”
Anti-charcoal factory protesters picketed the Labor Party conference.
Noel Plumb from the South-East Forest Alliance says all the delegates received an extract from the State Forests’ wood supply agreement with Australian Silicon which shows the factory will not just be burning waste timber.
“The Premier’s attitude is arrogant in the extreme,” he said.
“Government has been caught out in a lie, in a major lie, it has been caught out disregarding the concerns of a very large community – not only the concerns for their local environment and their regional environment, the forests, but their very livelihoods because it is nature-based tourism that is the major economic driver on the south coast.”