MP Claims Move for Charcoal Plant – ABC News

– For information only –
ABC News 20 September 2002
MP claims move for charcoal plant
The Federal Member for Eden Monaro, Gary Nairn, says he has received information indicating the charcoal factory planned near Mogo, on the NSW south coast, will be built instead at Lithgow, in the state’s central west.

The charcoal is to be used to manufacture silicon at Lithgow.

The developer, Australian Silicon, has previously said it was not commercially viable to transport the logs to Lithgow to burn the charcoal. The ABC has been unable to contact the company’s director, Peter Anderton, for comment today.

Meanwhile, a spokesman in the Premier’s office initially responded with a “no comment”, but later said the company has applied to develop the facility on the current site and that is what the Government has approved.

Mr Nairn says it would make sense for the charcoal factory to be built at Lithgow.

“A variety of information that’s come to me in recent times seems to indicate that that’s where they’re heading…my great concern is that we’ve got community money and Eurobodalla Shire Council spending money on a legal challenge,” he said.

“Now if this is the case, I would call on [Premier Bob] Carr to come clean with this now because we don’t want to see any more wasted money on a fruitless legal challenge if they are really going to make these sorts of changes.”


However, charcoal factory opponents say relocating the facility may not provide a solution.

Charcoalition spokesman Chris Cowal says the prospect of processing the timber locally and manufacturing the charcoal elsewhere has long been discussed as an alternative.

But he says that proposal also has problems.

“One of the concerns that the community has around this is that this could potentially mean there are increased heavy vehicle movements on the highway,” he said.

“This is, we say, an increase in terms of higher than what was already predicted with the proposal, as is currently under consideration.”

© 2002 ABC
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