Plant Relocation Won’t Save Forests, Towns or Tourism

Media Release 19 September 2002
Charcoal Smokescreen
Plant Relocation Won’t save Forests,Towns or Tourism
Greens MLC Ian Cohen has warned that rumoured plans to relocate the controversial South Coast Charcoal Plant to Lithgow will not resolve the community’s outrage about the plant.

“The South Coast forests and water catchments will still be devastated by a massive new woodchip style operation,’ Mr Cohen said.

‘Instead of 20,000 truck loads of trees being burnt at Mogo near Batemans Bay, they will now be taken all the way to Lithgow to be burnt.’

‘This will enormously increase the already high accident risk on the notoriously unsafe Princes Highway between Batemans Bay and Wollongong.

‘It will also add a huge new load of heavy trucks through the Blue Mountains villages on the Great Western Highway, a road that is not coping with present traffic levels.’

‘The South Coast tourism industry will still be blighted by a huge increase in heavy truck movements on rural scenic roads and the main highway, as well as vastly increased heavy industrial logging throughout the region.’

‘The Blue Mountains community will stage a revolt that may well cost the local member, Environment Minister Bob Debus, his seat.’

‘The Blue Mountains community is already highly concerned at the logging assault on the South Coast forests and 6000 charcoal trucks a year through the Blue Mountain’s

villages. The possibility of 20,000 heavy trucks adding to current safety and road congestion problems will add insult to injury and will escalate the political tension no end.’

‘We have caught the Carr Government in the big lie already, that only so called logging waste would be used for charcoal when in fact the originally secret timber supply contract stipulates 200,000 tonnes a year of whole logs of unlimited size.’

‘What new deceit is the Government going to use to try to sell the appalling destruction of our forests, the traffic impacts on our coastal towns and Blue Mountain’s villages and the damage to the South Coast tourism industry? ‘

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