Ignore Byron Council’s front page statement in last week’s Echo, ‘that the supply of electricity from Council’s proposed gas-fired Bioenergy Facility will reduce Council’s carbon emissions by up to 20 per cent’. Council’s present grid electricity supply is 60 per cent wind, and 40 per cent offset, and thus has no associated carbon emission to reduce, whereas the electricity from this proposed methane-burning plant does incur greenhouse emissions. Replacing Council’s present carbon neutral grid supply, with supply from this proposed methane-burning electricity plant, won’t reduce Council’s greenhouse emission, it will increase Council’s carbon emissions.
How did the 69 Submissions ‘Against’ and one ‘For’, get ignored? Well, Council misinformed the Planning Panel about alleged carbon reductions, and that there would be only one gas flame-off per month (it is actually two), and that contracts were in place for the needed agricultural waste supply (no contracts are in place) etc, etc. A further hint is in the DA process – the DA says: ‘The social impact assessment for the Byron Shire Bioenergy project… has been conducted in accordance with Council’s Social Impact Assessment Policy No. 09/008 [Council deleted this Policy in 2021], and clauses 6 and 7 of Schedule 2 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 [there is no Clause 7 in Schedule 2]’. And Clause 6 is purely the aspirational statements of Inter-generational Equity, Precautionary Principle etc.
Note that the plant will have odours – (DA ‘Based on the typical flow rate of 12.3 m3/s, an odour concentration of 500 OU/m3 and a biofilter area of 440 m2, an odour emission rate for the biofilter of 13.9 OU/m2/s has been adopted’), but the entire process has a bad smell before the plant is even built.
Owing to the massive amount of rubbish post-floods, regional councils are having discussions on establishing a new regional waste facility. A regional facility is where green waste management should take place.
If you value Byron’s clean air and vibrant wildlife, and want a carbon pollution-free future, advise councillors that you would like to smell the roses, not emissions from a methane-burning electricity plant (all councillors email contact: [email protected]).