Greens say power lines through Nambucca forest a fire risk

Greens say power lines through Nambucca forest a fire risk

30 November 2013

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Australia — MID North Coast Greens are calling on NSW Energy Minister Chris Hartcher to instruct Essential Energy to suspend the development of their infrastructure project in the Hyland Park area between Valla Beach and Nambucca Heads.

Spokesperson Carol Vernon said there were significant community concerns about the lack of consultation and the environmental impact of the project to Nambucca State Forest.

“The first time residents heard of Essential Energy’s development was in a letter from the company dated November 8,” she revealed.

“Before community members had a chance to find out more details of the project, trees were being felled and bushland cleared.

“We are concerned that Essential Energy has already logged trees that are reported to be home to local populations of black cockatoos.

“Local residents are deeply distressed.

“Essential Energy has commenced logging of the much valued Nambucca State Forest without any justification or community consultation.”

Ms Vernon accused Essential Energy of treating the Nambucca community with “callous disregard.”

“Hyland Park is accessed by this one road,” she added.

“Power lines are a significant cause of wildfires.

“Why add a power line to this state forest and increase the risk to this community?”

Greens MLC Dr John Kaye is raising objections to the development in the NSW Parliament.

“Essential Energy is pushing ahead with their plan to clear areas of Nambucca State Forest to install 23 power poles and 3.2 kilometres of cable to Hyland Park.

“The company has failed to make public the details of the development along Hyland Park Road, leaving residents in the dark about the impacts of the project.

“Concerns have been raised with my office over the need for the project, the environmental impacts and the bush fire risk.

“None of these issues has been addressed by Essential Energy.

“In NSW, energy infrastructure companies have significant powers to clear vegetation but this should not entitle them to wipe out trees and undergrowth without any public scrutiny or consultation.”

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