Uranquinty families bought out and silenced with non disclosure clauses by Origin Energy
By MICHELLE WEBSTER
SPECULATION is rife throughout Uranquinty over Origin Energy’s plans for its controversial power station after the company yesterday confirmed it was buying large parcels of land surrounding the facility. The move coincides with modification of criteria outlining which of the power station’s neighbours can still seek operational noise limits and monitoring measures.
The Daily Advertiser understands Uranquinty residents who have been approached by Origin Energy with offers to buy their properties have been gagged from speaking about the deal, with strict confidentiality agreements in place.
However one local resident, who did not wish to be named, yesterday indicated Uranquinty habitants were well aware of the purchases, with the vast majority viewing the arrangement in an unfavourable light.
The resident said the loss of families from the small village would be felt deeply, with businesses and schools suffering as a result.
With the facility heavily criticised for the levels of noise produced since it became fully operational in January this year, Uranquinty residents have debated whether this latest move is designed to remove those affected most by noise pollution or whether, in fact, Origin may be planning to expand the site, however a spokesperson for Origin Energy yesterday denied plans for expansion were on the table. “There are no current plans to expand the Uranquinty Power Station, or to use the farming land Origin now owns for purposes other than farming,” she said.
The NSW Department of Planning issued a public notice in the Weekend Advertiser to notify the community of the approval of a request by Origin Energy to modify the Uranquinty power station development consent.
As stated in the notice, the modification prevents residents who have negotiated a prior noise agreement with Origin, or those wishing to build new homes near the power station, from seeking operational noise limits and associated monitoring and mitigation measures.
However, the individual listed for those wishing to enquire about the modification, printed on the December 19 and 20, is currently on leave.