June 26th 2008
Bowen now lead site for Chalco
Magnetic Times has campaigned over recent years against, Chinese aluminium giant, Chalco's possible moves to build an alumina refinery at the Stuart Industrial Area, south of and up wind of, Townsville and, to an extent, Magnetic Island. That threat now appears to be over for Townsville, at least, after Bowen was endorsed yesterday as the lead site.
Member for Townsville Mike Reynolds, who previuosly supported the Townsville bid, today welcomed and endorsed Bowen as the lead site for the Chalco Aluminium Refinery.
"This is a great decision for the people of Bowen and North Queensland and is a major consolidation of industrial growth and development in the dedicated Northern Economic Triangle which takes in Bowen, Townsville and Mount Isa.
James McLellan from the North Queensland Conservation Council (NQCC), however, was unimpressed. "The site at Bowen is equally inappropriate as Townsville's. It is too close to the coast."
"We are hugely concerned about added greenhouse and where they are going to store the toxic (refinery waste) mudpond.
The NQCC claim on their website that the Chalco proposal to produce 2.1 million tonnes of alumina per year will require approximately the same electricity as 105, 000 homes. There are approximately 59,000 homes in the New Townsville City. NQCC also claim (click here) that the Chalco refinery would require approximately 12 000 megalitres of water a year. This is approximately equivalent to the amount used by 48 000 homes in a year.
Mike Reynolds said, "Only one site was ever considered for the Chalco development in Townsville and that was a site which was within the Stuart Industrial Development Area.
"It is clear that this site has not met the strict environmental conditions which would be necessary for the Chalco Development to go ahead at this site.
"Many residents, particularly those in adjoining suburbs to Stuart, will be very relieved that Bowen has been chosen as the refinery site if the Aurukun Bauxite Development proceeds.
Two years ago, commercial and local government leaders submitted a case to the Queensland Government that Woodstock should also be considered for the Chalco Development, but this was ruled out given the Government's previous decision in 2000 not to allow a major industrial development complex at Woodstock.
Mr Reynolds said that there would be enormous spin-off benefits for the whole of North Queensland and particularly Townsville given the enormous civic and industrial infrastructure in Townsville.
To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below