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State moves to intervene in Palmer’s bid for coal-fired power station

The state government has moved to intervene in a bid by Clive Palmer to build a controversial coal-fired power station in Central Queensland.

Barcaldine Regional Council has been assessing the proposal by Mr Palmer’s company, Waratah Coal, for a coal-fired power station on a cattle property 30 kilometres north-west of the town of Alpha.

But Planning Minister Steven Miles has moved to intervene in the proposal – said to be the largest the council has assessed – on concerns there has been no public consultation.

Waratah Coal applied to Barcaldine Council for the development approval under an outdated 2006 planning scheme that didn’t require public consultation, the state government said.

“I want to make sure the community get their say on a project of this scale,” Mr Miles said.

“The assessment work undertaken by the council will be very useful to the Planning Department in their preparation of advice to me regarding whether the project should be called in for consideration at a state level.”

The Planning Department will consider issues including the outcome of the consultation with the community, whether there should be a more thorough assessment of the power station’s water usage and its potential impact on the Great Artesian Basin, whether groundwater or other issues should be considered by the Commonwealth government, and progress on the already announced Queensland Energy Plan.

Mr Miles has given interested parties 21 days to make representations regarding whether the proposed station should come under the government’s purview.

Barcaldine mayor Sean Dillon has previously said the decision to lodge the application directly with the council instead of the state government was “virtually without precedent”.

The state government has previously said it would not support the proposal, adding there was no need for another coal-fired power station in Queensland.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald