Old site revival to empower rural NSW
The hopes of a rural NSW region have been pinned to the overhaul of the old Wallerawang Power Station.
EnergyAustralia has called for expressions of interest to reuse or develop the site near Lithgow, which has sat idle since 2014.
The power station used to provide about 80 local jobs before it closed, and there has been a lot of interest from the local council, community and businesses in redeveloping the site.
EnergyAustralia spokesperson Julian Turecek said the site had a lot of potential.
“We embarked on the decommissioning, demolition and rehabilitation process,” Mr Turecek said.
“But we've now decided that one of the things that could improve that process is what potential uses could be employed on the site that could benefit the community and the region in the longer term, and also make the ongoing rehab work more effectively.”
Mr Turecek said the site could be turned into almost anything – a manufacturing park, technology hub, or even a regional business centre.
“Obviously one of the criteria that we'll be looking at is how many jobs does this create, how much investment might go into the region and it's certainly a criteria that the local council and government would be very interested in reviewing as well,” he said.
“We expect to get quite a range of ideas from the local community, local regions and maybe into western Sydney.
“The site's set up for quite a number of uses; for example it could become a host for a large-scale manufacturing enterprise or potentially a business park."
Lithgow mayor Maree Statham says she is “incredibly delighted” that so many want the space to be used again.
“The main thing we want for our area, of course, is jobs and I think this will be one way to create some diversification but more importantly to create an area that would be normally just closed down,” Cr Statham said.
“We have a railway line right around that area, we have good freight systems, freight by rail, freight by road.
“I think being so close to the outskirts of Sydney, it will make people think 'can we relocate our business with a much less cost' than the rent that perhaps they're paying on the outskirts of Sydney.
“It will be quite incredible, I think, and interesting to see what expressions of interest do come in.”
Expressions of interest are open until mid-August – the application form is available here.