Flaring at QCLNG in 2015.
Flaring at QCLNG in 2015. Mike Richards GLA160115FLRE

Division on flaring as council wants environmental 'levy'

FLARING at Curtis Island's LNG plants causes division in the community and now it has caused a division in the council.

Gladstone Regional Council was split on its submission to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection about changes to flaring at QCLNG.

QGC is behind the plan and wants to increase the amount of visible, or smoky, flaring time at its Curtis Island plant.

In the recommended submission, which caused a split among councillors at yesterday's meeting, one part was a particular sticking point.

The council wants the department to facilitate an agreement between the council and both vertical flaring Curtis Island LNG proponents to contribute to a Gladstone region community based environmental initiatives fund managed by the council.

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The council wants it to be funded at a rate of $20,000 per hour, per proponent of smoky flaring in excess of seven hours each year.

More mobile air monitoring stations and more consistent conditions for flaring across all sites were also part of the council's submission.

Deputy mayor Chris Trevor, PJ Sobhanian and Peter Masters all voted against this.

They were rolled by Mayor Matt Burnett, Kahn Goodluck, Desley O'Grady, Rick Hansen and Cindi Bush.

"What I saw as part of the recommendation was to impose an environmental levy on them as part of our consent to the application," Cr Trevor said.

"I saw that as unfair, unjust and unreasonable.

"I saw it as a money grab ... because there is no evidence before us to suggest it's going to cause environmental or economic harm."

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Cr Burnett said the change would increase carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, so it was "fair and reasonable" to have extra conditions imposed

on QGC.

The council's submission is not legally binding. The department must decide.

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