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Greg Piper Town Hall Meeting 26 Oct 2020

Mick Payze

Greg Piper Webinar – 26 October 2020 - ZOOM “Town Hall Meeting” with Matt Kean, Minister for Energy and Environment. (33 Attendees).
Matters covered included:

1. Introduction by Matt Kean -

a. He referred to his assertion regarding Climate Change which he opined was “a Matter of Science not Belief”.
b. He stated that NSW must lower emissions and that Eraring, the biggest consumer ‘of thermal coal, would be closed in 15 years’ time.

2. Eraring’s ash dam is one of the biggest in Australia and contains around 216m tonnes and is now the focus of studies as to how to use some of the ash.

3. Pollution Monitoring -a site has now been established in the area of Rocky Point Road for measuring pollution – it should be completed in 14 weeks’ time.

4. Hazard Reduction Burns – a number have been completed in the area including on the border with the National Park like a 12 ha burn at Awaba Bay on 2 October.

5. Plastic Pollution – the highly publicised investigations called “Clean up our Act” which addresses the phase out or re-use of certain plastics has brought forth 16,000 submissions.  Working on litter management and reduction citing concern that the average person is ingesting the equivalent to a credit card of plastic every week.

6. Koala Protection - the Government is aiming at doubling numbers and aims at supporting habitat protection, breeding, research etc.

7. Clean-up of Chemical toxicity – Grants are being issued to support clean-up of industry – applications must be submitted to Minister’s Office

8. Discharge of Heavy Metals into Lake Macquarie are being investigated – concerns can be addressed to 131 555 to the Ministry.

9. Awaba Conservation Act – is apparently to be formally gazetted after a wait since 1972 – this is a project championed by Robyn Charlton.

10. L T Creek Remediation - The LT Creek Flood Study has been prepared for Lake Macquarie City Council to define the existing flood behaviour in the LT Creek catchment and establish the basis for subsequent floodplain management activities. LT Creek is a tributary of Lake Macquarie draining a catchment area of some 7.5km2, extending north/north-west of the township of Fassifern. The catchment is drained by LT Creek and a number of unnamed  tributaries, discharging to Fennel Bay, a semi-closed embayment of the broader Lake Macquarie waterway. It appears that the responsibility for required remediation does not fit any particular domain, but the siltation is largely due to the Newstan Mine ‘s previous owners – the State!

11. Plastics Recycling – A short address from a webinar attendee, Prof Thava Palanisami, Newcastle University discussed the fact that his faculty now has the biggest team in Australia researching plastic pollution. Sharma has been invited to share the work with USA Universities.

12. Air Quality Improvement – The reduction of Nitrous Oxide produced by power stations and vehicles is highly desirable and necessary to reduce asthma in children.

13. Monitoring of Seepage from the Ash Dam – This is not currently administered by the EPA – apparently Crooked Creek is showing substantial damage. Minister Kean invited concerns to be addressed to his office for follow-up.