Local protest calls for NSW Planning Minister to reject Kurri Kurri fossil fuel power plant as decision looms

Gas Free Hunter Alliance

Hunter Valley locals will protest outside NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes’ office today as concerns mount over the climate impacts of burning fossil fuels and the lack of long-term economic economic benefits the Kurri Kurri gas plant will bring to the Hunter Valley community.

The protest will be led by the Gas Free Hunter Alliance and local constituents – starting at 10am at 1725 Pittwater Road, Mona Vale – and will present Mr Stokes with a 55,000 signature petition calling on him to reject planning approval for the outdated and polluting Kurri Kurri gas plant.

It comes as a recommendation by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment is expected “imminently” on the Kurri Kurri gas plant.

Mr Stokes is then likely to then rapidly make a decision based on that recommendation, as the project has Critical State Significant Infrastructure status.

“Kurri Kurri needs jobs with a future, like renewable energy, not to be fobbed off with only a handful of ongoing jobs created using last century’s technology and more than $600 million of public money,” Kurri Kurri local Janet Murray said.

Just this week over 100 countries, excluding Australia, signed up to a global methane pledge aimed at curbing methane emissions at COP26 in Glasgow, due to the immense global warming effect of the gas. The type of gas that would be burnt at the proposed Kurri Kurri power station is predominantly made up of methane.

At the event, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the world that Australia is tackling climate change, however, the Morrison Government continues to push ahead with its gas-fired recovery by subsidising fossil fuel projects, like the outdated and polluting Kurri Kurri gas peaking plant.

The Gas Free Hunter Alliance are calling for the Morrison Government and the NSW Government to make urgent plans to invest in more clean renewable energy projects in the Hunter Valley to generate electricity and create new jobs, instead of funding new fossil fuel projects.

GFHA co-coordinator Carly Phillips said she had concerns about carbon emissions from the gas plant.

“The building of any new gas infrastructure is entirely incompatible with NSW and Federal Government targets of reaching net zero emissions by 2050, nevermind the fact that very few local jobs would be created,” Ms Phillips said.

“The conservative International Energy Agency has categorically stated that no new gas infrastructure can be built around the world if we are to align with Paris Agreement climate commitments of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees by 2050.”

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