Gunning and Dalton residents have created a petition against AGL’s proposed gas-fired power plant in the hope the plant won’t be constructed.
Margarita Georgiadis, Gunning resident, artist and member of the Upper Lachlan Environment Association (ULEA), said the petition was important to spread the group’s concerns.
She said the plant was in an unacceptable location near a populated area.
“AGL has done very little with regard to informing the community of the actual scale and environmental impact of their proposed power station, their advertising material has been misleading to say the least,” Ms Georgiadis said.
An AGL spokeswoman said the petition’s content was inaccurate and demonstrates the need for the energy company to consult with the community further.
“However AGL welcomes the feedback, and will continue to engage with the local community with the next meeting scheduled for June 2,” the spokeswoman said.
The ULEA is hopeful state Burrinjuck MP Katrina Hodgkinson will be able to attend the meeting so the association can point out what it’s worried about.
“It's quite apparent that the broader community is up in arms about AGL's proposal for Dalton,” Ms Georgiadis said.
She said many agreed a gas-fired power station wasn’t the way forward for renewable energy generation.
“[AGL] has kept our community in the dark about the true impacts upon Dalton and Gunning.”
Those impacts, the petition says, include the contamination of food and water tanks by toxic exhaust, the loss of tourism and their identity as a “picturesque, quiet rural village”.
“We want to keep our beautiful, peaceful and clean environment from becoming a toxic, polluted industrial wasteland,” the petition, started by Gunning resident, actor and artist Max Cullen, said.
AGL said it also wanted to keep Dalton from becoming a “toxic, polluted wasteland, as stated in the petition”.
The spokeswoman said the company was “working with the relevant government authorities to develop the project with minimal impact on the environment”.
“It is interesting to note that many of the petitioners live outside the Dalton area, with some living outside of Australia,” the spokeswoman said.
Ms Georgiadis said the reason for the online petition was to inform the broader community.
“The fact that so many people from all over the country oppose it and have signed our petition is testimony to the outrageous nature of AGL's proposal,” she said.
The local artist said if everyone in Gunning and Dalton signed the petition it wouldn’t raise the state government’s interest as the communities are so small.
However, she said, the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure would take notice of support from across the country.
At the time of going to press there were 775 signatures on the petition, 225 less than the target of 1000.