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The approval process for the Eden chipmill wood fired power station is secretive and unaccountable, according to conservationists.
Spokesperson, Ms Harriett Swift says that the Government is refusing to release details of any submissions to anyone other than the chipmill.
"This secrecy is not standard procedure under the S.3A approval process; it has been adopted for this project for reasons we can only guess at," she says.
Ms Swift says that when people lodged their submissions on the project they were asked by the Department of Planning whether or not they wanted their submissions made public.
"Now we learn that none of them will be made public," Ms Swift says.
"Why did the Department of Planning bother to ask that question if it intended to suppress submissions all along""
"Conservationists have never had confidence in this process, but the secrecy surrounding submissions - who wrote them and what they said - compounds our concern."
"We understand that the submissions overwhelmingly oppose the woodchip power station and that many well qualified people have expressed concerns about the proposed wood fired power station, but the public will never be allowed to know whether the chipmill has responded to those concerns adequately or not.
"There are major concerns about the fuel source and supply; so-called "waste" depends on the ongoing woodchipping of a million tonnes of native forest trees every year," she says.
"There are also concerns about localized pollution from toxic emissions which may affect residents in the Eden area as well as hot water to be discharged into Twofold Bay into the habitat of the weedy sea dragon and green sea turtles," she says.
Far south coast residents will take part in a national day of action against using native forest wood to generate electricity on Tuesday 1st June. A stall will be held in the Bega shopping centre to distribute information about the proposal.

30 May 2010