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Port Augusta Mayor responds to Nuclear proposal

PIC – Digitally altered image. 20th Century Fox
Abbie Tiller

Nuclear Power Plant Announcement for Port Augusta

PORT AUGUSTA CITY Mayor, Linley Shine, has spoken out following a bold announcement by Liberal leader Peter Dutton this week. Dutton announced that the Coalition proposes to build seven nuclear power plants at sites across the country, as well as two small modular reactors, one of these flagged for Port Augusta.

Mayor Shine said Council had not been formally contacted regarding the power plant proposal, nor had any information been received, prompting him to address concerned members of the public.

“Firstly, it is important to note that the proposed site for the nuclear power plant is privately owned and has been considered for other projects, including the development of an export port,” he said.

The success of these potential projects, which could greatly contribute to the economic development and prosperity of the region, may be jeopardised if the exploration of the nuclear power plant proposal casts doubt on the future use of the old power station sites.

After the rapid closure of the coal-fired Port Augusta power stations, the city experienced economic decline and environmental issues such as fly ash dust emissions. Throughout this period, there was a noticeable absence of support from both the Commonwealth and State Governments. No economic transition support was provided to the community during that challenging time.”

He said the Port Augusta community had experienced “announcement fatigue”, with multiple project announcements for the area following the closure of the former power stations, and is rightly questioning whether the nuclear power plant proposal will become reality. “Only a few wind and solar projects have come to fruition,” he said.

“It is crucial for the residents of Port Augusta and the wider region of South Australia to see tangible benefits from hosting renewable energy or nuclear facilities. The South Australian Government has enacted legislation that prevents local councils from receiving fair and equitable rates from the electricity generation sector, which is in contrast to other state jurisdictions within Australia.

Councils must be able to raise fair income from the electricity generation and storage facilities they host in order to provide the necessary services and amenities for their communities.

Therefore, the Council urges the South Australian Government to promptly address this rating anomaly that currently benefits international energy companies at the expense of regional South Australian communities.”

Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said he was pleased with the announcement that a future Federal Coalition Government would introduce zero-emissions nuclear energy in Australia.

He said the reactors would be Government owned and provide hundreds of highly technical and highly paid jobs in Port Augusta for at least 80 years.

“Renewables are a very important part of the electricity mix and I expect their contribution to keep growing across Australia, but they are by their very nature unreliable and require expensive and extensive back-up systems. Under a Coalition Government nuclear will be part of the energy mix and provide the reliability the system is increasingly lacking.”

Port Augusta City Council eagerly awaits the provision of information regarding the announcement.




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