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To preserve and enhance the cultural environmental and social sustainability of the Tyagarah Area and its inhabitants

« Dieter - Tree felling | Main | Council Complaint Form »

May 19, 2001

Dieter - Tree felling

A letter has been sent to Northpower's CEO about the tree clearing on Dieter's Lane

May 19, 2001
Mr. Tom Parkinson, CEO Northpower. P.O. Box 786, Port Macquarie NSW 2444

Dear Mr. Parkinson,

I am writing on behalf of The Tyagarah Sustainable Community Alliance, an action group sanctioned under the Tyagarah Progress Association. It is the responsibility of this group to develop, maintain and encourage the social, environmental and economic well being of the Tyagarah, NSW community. We are currently representing over 100 households and are recognized as the legal and vocal embodiment of the people who live here with regard to public interactions concerning the growth and maintenance of this area.

We are endeavouring to create positive change for our area, including the introduction of a collective reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Presently on our agenda is an effort to sign on, as a whole group, the members of this organization to NorthPower Green. However, with this attempt, we are running into some resistance and would like to ask for your assistance.

The concerns raised by our members are as follows. Recently NorthPower went into a property owned by Dieter Horstmann to place overhead power lines. The result of the process was devastating for us to witness: a large amount of mature trees felled over a large area, and to top it off the chipper was broken so all the trees were burned. We know from reports of Mr. Horstmann's neighbour that he was given easement thru her land so that he could take the other option of doing his power underground. We feel that the way NorthPower handled the situation clearly impacts on your environmental credibility.

It is probably not new to you that the general public consensus concerning "green" options from suppliers is that the supplier uses this "green" option to buy business and to comply with government procedure, when in fact the direct motives of that supplier have not changed. The image that is projected to the consumer is one of hypocrisy and manipulation. When in fact the consumer would love to support NorthPower to participate in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. However, if the heart of the company does not reflect that intention, then we as consumers feel we are only participating in a con-game.... or a small gesture at most. This does not empower us to empower you. More directly, this does not empower TSCA to sign up 100 residents onto NorthPower Green. And with the open choice of suppliers coming down the tracks, it puts NorthPower Green in a rather vulnerable position.

We would like to work with you. We would like to assist you in your endeavour to present healthier, wiser choices for your consumers that will protect the future of our world. It is not our wish to boycott NorthPower Green, as this only leads to another negative impact with coal. However, it is also not our wish to participate in something that only dangles a carrot in front of our noses. We want to know we are putting ourselves into the hands of an organization that really has the people's best interest at heart.

Would you be interested in sending a representative of both NorthPower and NorthPower Green to meet with us to discuss the possibilities of community consultation including proper environmental impact analysis and costing of various alternative methods to supply power? We believe your presence within the group could prove to be a valuable exchange for all of us.

We would also like to propose that NorthPower contribute to the reforestation on the crown land deforested to bring in Horstmann's power last week. Is this something you might consider?

If we receive a commitment to public consultation regarding new powerlines and the principle of encouraging underground power and minimalization of clearing, we will consider joining your program.

Working with NorthPower, including NorthPower Green, as a progress association could set precedents for other progress associations in our mutual endeavour to bring intelligent sustainability decisions into our communities. We look forward to the opportunity to working with you.

Very truly yours,

Kali Shapiro

Posted at May 19, 2001 12:00 AM

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