Council challenges Westlink

THE controversial proposal for a gas power plant near Gatton is headed back to court.

The Lockyer Valley Regional Council has lodged an appeal against the proposed Westlink power station.

The council's initial rejection of the 1000-megawatt power station was overturned in the Planning and Environment Court in April.

The newly elected council voted unanimously to take the matter to the Court of Appeal to prevent the power plant from being built.

Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones said the council had taken a strong stance against the proposal.

"We held our first normal meeting of the new term and decided we would appeal this decision," he said.

"In the coming weeks council will be taking further advice on this decision. What we've done here is make sure we appealed within the window so we didn't lose that opportunity."

Cr Jones said some members of the community had been very vocal in their opposition to the proposed station.

"There is a sector of the community that are very against the power station," he said.

"And there are a large number of councillors, a majority of councillors, who are also very concerned about this."

In April the Planning and Environment Court found the council's objections were not sufficient to prevent the construction of the plant.

Judge David Searles said he didn't agree with the council's concerns regarding the location of the power plant, as the proposed site was near other industrial facilities including a sewerage treatment plant and a landfill.

Similarly Judge Searles said the location along the Roma-Brisbane pipeline was ideal to fuel the plant, which would assist powering the booming south-east corner.

The power station was first proposed in 2009 when it promised to provide up to 200 construction jobs and generate enough electricity for 200,000 homes.

Lockyer Valley action group Keep Lockyer Rural have maintained a vocal opposition to the proposal.

They said they were disappointed with the Planning and Environment Court's initial decision to allow the development to go ahead.



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