The entire Gold Coast City Council Divisional Councillors and the Mayor voted a resounding NO. The Phoenix Biomass burner and power generation proposal was obviously NOT getting Council approval ..... or so we were all led to believe!!!!
Phoenix appealed the decision on 21 Dec.
The community wrote unsuccessfully to state government ministers urging them to “call the application in” and put a stop to the inappropriate project.
The fear was always that despite the resounding no vote and huge community dissent, the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and the Council’s own bureaucrats were in support of the application. Their report clearly demonstrates a conflict of interest by government in this development application. Read the information that is chilling in its duplicity.
Council town planners, for example, described the proposal as a “great opportunity” to redirect green waste from their rubbish tip land fill and went as far as describing the proposed 30m high and 2.3m diameter chimney as “minimal bulk” and in character with the surrounding area.
No mention was made about the scientific facts demonstrating resulting serious health issues for the surrounding population.
Eventually, not long before the appeal was supposed to come before the court, the Council and its legal team simply gave up and decided not to fight the appeal. This now allows the Phoenix proposal to go ahead with NO restrictions. Cynically, this strategically appears to be the plan all along - pretend to be against it but argue that the legal team knows best.
“Council cannot break the rules it sets - it tries to do the right thing. It’s the system that’s broken and needs attention.” Really? And who may we ask, actually builds and repairs the system? Council? The state government? No wonder the community is cynical about politicians. No wonder trust gets smashed. We need to hold politicians to account and not let them hide behind the systems THEY construct."
A very dissolutioned citizen.
Shame on Council and shame on the councilors who seem to be powerless to stop inappropriate developments. Shame on the Phoenix administrators who can’t even contain their current small operations without fouling the local environment with smell and stink and who have the temerity to develop ill conceived “super grand plans” for their future wlthout any concern for the local community who are forced to put up with the consequences. It’s the local community who ultimately will be forced to live with this misguided and badly researched commercial imperative. It is the local and state governments that are now foisting this plant on a community with scant regard to any of the health consequences. It's what you would expect when you site commercial and residential estates right next to one another and somehow expect there to be no friction. Rules for development? The rules seem to be deliberately vague. The Phoenix site is actually located in a medium impact industry area yet the definitions are pointed towards high impact industry zonings. There is a long history in Yatala and Ormeau which clearly demonstrates that the rules set up by governments to control commercial operations next to residential areas are SELDOM enforced.
The whole sordid issue has a disgusting smell about it.