Contributed by Ugly
When the Northern Power Station closed in 2016, Port Augusta thought that the regular coal dust blanketing of the town, and the epidemic of breathing related health issues, would come to an end. It got worse instead.
Flinders Power, the company which operated and closed the power station has refused to take responsibility. did not do nearly enough to repair the site and has so far gotten away with it.
Meanwhile, the local community has been forced to put up with the result. Flinders Power is also a front for Alinta Energy, which is using the shell compasny as a means to avoid paying costs.
This is reason why people have come together and Port Augusta Dust Busters, has come into existence; to push South Australia’s political leaders to do something to look after the community and to hold Flinders Power to account. Greenpeace has been helping out and has released a report on the dust problem.
One of the important actions is a letter to the premier that the townspeople want supporters to put their name to. This is an open and shut case. Port Augusta needs help, and everyone should sign the petition.
The letter has been reproduced below.
Why is this important?
Port Augusta continues to suffer the economic, health and environmental consequences of the closure of the local coal-fired power station. The ash dam is no longer being kept damp to control dust and just after Christmas in 2016, horrible fly ash coated our houses and businesses – while Bird Lake, which used to receive the water that flowed over the ash dam to keep it wet, is now so dry it causes an unimaginable smell to waft across the town. Since that first Christmas we have suffered multiple dust storms, including as recently as 27th December 2017 – exactly one year after our town was subjected to its first torment. How long must we live in uncertainty and fear?
The next premier of SA – ALP, SA Best or Liberal – needs to commit to full and proper remediation of the site and rescue our community from the science experiment Flinders Power and the EPA have left us in for the past 2 years.
Full and proper remediation must include:
The restoration of the physical site, including Bird Lake and the ash dams, to a best practice standard, independently verified and in consultation with the community.
This includes short term management measures to deal with dust events.
Investigation and remedying of health effects caused by the plant and its closure.
First priority given to the safety and well being of the community during the process.
For the health of the community, Port Augusta must not be subjected to another horrific event where dust and stench become part of our everyday living. We call on the government to fix this mess once and for all so that the community can move forward together.