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The NSW Government has been warned it faces a united fight by the environmental movement if it approves a charcoal plant on the state’s south coast.
Around 1500 people gathered at a rally in central Sydney yesterday to voice their concerns about the proposed Mogo plant.
The plant would burn wood from nearby state forests to create charcoal for a silicon factory near Lithgow.
Conservationists and concerned residents argue the plant would consume 200,000 tonnes of trees from the South Coast Forests a year.
They also objected to plans for three wood-fired power stations in the area, which would increase woodchipping.
NSW Greens MP Ian Cohen, Independent NSW MP Clover Moore and Democrat MLC Arthur Chesterfield-Evans attended the rally at the Domain.
They all stressed that environmental issues would feature heavily in the 2003 election.
Ms Moore said this would present a threat to the Carr Government winning the election.
“It will be very close. The Carr Government is supposed to be green. I think they have a very good reason to worry.”
Noel Plumb from the South East Forest Alliance issued a warning to Premier Bob Carr, echoing the politicians.
“We’re going to make it very clear to the Labor Party and Premier that there will be enormous electoral damage to the party if they don’t a: refuse to approve this charcoal plant and b: go back and honour their promises to protect the forests and stop woodchipping,” he said.