Wednesday , January 27 2021

The redevelopment of Lithgow coal plants breathe new life into a difficult town



Posted

February 03, 2019 06:16:32

With its main location on Lithgow's main street, Bev Matthews's curtain shop should be trading.

Key points:

  • Over 600 jobs were lost when the Wallerawang Power Station was closed in 2014
  • The Bettergrow recycling company is looking to buy and redevelop the site
  • He hopes to create 30 jobs in the next two years and up to 300 jobs in the coming years

But since the downturn began, the town has disappeared to be a shadow of itself.

"Unfortunately, Lithgow survives on the mines, which down down," he told ABC.

"There are not so many people hanging around, retail disappears."

Ms Matthews said that up to seven local businesses had closed over the past 18 months.

"It was a very real town," he said.

"We need to try to get people who want to live in Lithgow, rather than just those who retire to change trees."

On the street floor in the bakery, local people come to go, but there are not many young faces.

The owner of David Dowler fears the future of his town.

"I hope that it does not turn into town a spirit, but you know, perhaps," he said.

"We need more jobs for young people, you have to keep the young people around."

Some favor Lithgow's job losses at the Wallerawang Power Station, which closes in 2014.

The power station was sold to the state owned power of the Australian Australian power station, but soon after the sale it was treated and had been seated since then.

Deputy Mayor of Lithgow, Wayne McAndrew, said nearby mines started to ban workers around at the same time.

"We're going through a difficult time, and anyone who lives here would know that," he said.

"We were back in Wallerawang Power Station in 2014, and very soon after, closing the Angus Place colliery.

"This was a loss of over 600 permanent, full-time jobs, and you can understand the effect of flowing that," he said.

There is help on the way

It has been pushed to give a new life to the Wallerawang Power Station site, its redevelopment to bring new jobs to the region.

"I have resigned to the fact, unfortunately, that we will never see a power produced in Wallerawang," said Mr McAndrew.

"But we know that the website is very valuable for future job opportunities, if it is not completely demolished."

Energy Australia has announced a recycling company for Welgrow having unique access to the site so that it can decide whether it wants to buy.

"We were looking at part of the site for recycling and resource recovery," said Neil Schembri, Bettergrow General Manager.

"Since then the opportunity and site has evolved, we are now looking at buying the entire site."

Mr Schembri said once the approvals were in place, he would like to see up to 30 jobs created over a two-year period.

"Realistic to expect in the coming years would have 200-300 people in jobs on the site there," he said.

Demolition questions

Although the town's talk in Lithgow is a re-development, some are concerned about who could end up any demolition work at the power station site.

In a press release recently, Energy Australia said that he had applied for permission to Lithgow City Council, "to re-institute plant infrastructure and surrounding land".

"This includes … it could get rid of the primary boiler, turbine hall, cooling towers, associated buildings and equipment such as coal handling carriers, overhead pipelines and electrical systems," he said.

Deputy Mayor Lithgow, Wayne McAndrew, said taxpayers could be raising the bill for some of the work, due to an agreement between the State Government and Australian Energy.

"We are told quite clearly, if the site is leveled, NSW residents and taxpayers, and NSW taxpayers, pay that cost."

But the State Government said it can not disclose if that's the case.

"The NSW Treasury works with Energy Australia on decommissioning, demolition and rehabilitation of the Wallerawang site," he said in a statement.

But he said that details of the sale agreement were confidential.

Topics:

community-and-society,

rural,

community development,

recycling and waste management,

electric-energy-and-utilities,

mining-rural,

wallerawang-2845,

lithgow-2790,

nsw


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