Council wants best community outcome from Biomass

Redland City Council is determined to get the best possible outcome for the community with the Mount Cotton Biomass project, Mayor Karen Williams said today.

Councillor Williams said the Planning and Environment Court would determine a new permissible change application from Cleveland Power Pty Ltd.

“We understand there are people within the community who strongly oppose the power plant,” Cr Williams said.

“The fact is this plant was approved by the Planning and Environment Court and was ultimately going to be built.

“The proposal is for an innovative Australia-first green plant that turns a waste product into power. It would generate enough power for 7500 homes each year. It would also reduce carbon emissions by up to 125,000 tonnes – the equivalent of taking 30,000 cars off the road per year.

“Council’s decision this week was to ensure we get the best possible outcome for the community in terms of plant design, air quality and other environmental safeguards, and in terms of potentially saving ratepayers many thousands of dollars in legal fees.

“With this decision, Council and the community can remain informed of the court’s final decision.”
Local Councillor Julie Talty (Division 6) said the public could be confident Council’s decision was taken in the best interests of the community.

“They can also be confident the decision was in the interests of ensuring that any plant to be built would incorporate best practice design as determined by the court and court- appointed experts,” she said.

“As the proceedings progress the public will have access to scientific information on the application before the Court.

“The Planning and Environment Court will assess and decide on any permissible change application.

“It was this Court that issued the Biomass Approval in November 2007, subject to conditions imposed by the Council, Department of Main Roads and the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (previously the Department of Environment and Resource Management.).”

A General Meeting of Redland City Council this week resolved to seek an adjournment of the Planning and Environment Court appeal hearing on the proposed plant.

The court subsequently adjourned the current proceedings to allow it to assess and decide a new separate permissible change application from Cleveland Power. The application seeks to clarify inconsistencies in the current design and approved
conditions, as recommended by air quality experts.

Councillor Williams said the process would allow the applicant and regulatory authorities to ensure the proposal met current standards and practices, including current
environmental emission standards.
“Importantly, Council believes this process would provide the community with the
opportunity to be fully informed about the proposal,” she said.
“The original parties to the Appeal will be notified of this separate Court application,
referred to as a permissible change application under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009.
“A permissible change application must include documentation to support the proposed