Protesters against the construction of a gas-fired power station make their voices heard outside council chambers.
Protesters against the construction of a gas-fired power station make their voices heard outside council chambers.

Power station ruling shocks locals

HUNDREDS of Lockyer Valley residents who petitioned against a gas-fired power station being built near Gatton are angry the proposal is going ahead.

Just a few months after Lockyer Valley Regional Council knocked back the proposal by developers Westlink to build a 1000-megawatt plant at Adare, on the northern outskirts of Gatton, the decision has been overturned.

Lockyer Valley Ratepayers Association president Bob Fowke described the decision which was handed down in the Planning and Environment Court on Thursday as a “travesty”.

“The LVRA believes this decision to be a real travesty for local property owners adjacent to the site and those on whose land large, imposing towers will be positioned to deliver the power generated,” Mr Fowke said.

Mr Fowke said up to 15 concerned ratepayers attended court each day and each person was shocked to hear the power station was approved.

“Ramifications following this decision will be felt throughout the community for many years to come,” he said.

Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones said he too was disappointed council’s decision to reject the proposal made in August last year was overturned.

“I am disappointed on behalf of those residents who campaigned against the power station,” Cr Jones said.

“Many of them are very passionate about this issue.”

Keep Lockyer Rural president Chris Hall, who organised several protests against the power station, said residents had grave concerns for Gatton’s future.

“Where it’s going to be built is in the traditional farming town’s northern fringes, about 1.5km from the CBD,” Mr Hall said.

“People are worried it’s going to affect their air quality, prime agricultural land and so much more.”

A spokesman from Westlink was not available for comment yesterday.

It is unknown when work will start on the gas-fired station.

Westlink has also never disclosed where power lines and towers would be placed.