Friday, 30 March 2018

Greens Welcome Parliamentary Waste Inquiry Report But Want Western Sydney Incinerator Banned for Good

NSW and Waste
Greens NSW MP and Environment Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has commented on the release of the Parliamentary Waste Inquiry Report. Dr Faruqi sat on the committee and issued a dissenting statement calling for stronger controls around energy from waste facilities and a complete ban on the proposed Western Sydney incinerator.

The report can be found here and Dr Faruqi’s dissenting statement can be found on page 205

Dr Faruqi said:

“Given the overwhelming evidence received, the Committee should have outright rejected the giant incinerator proposed for Western Sydney. I want to see this polluting incinerator not go ahead at all.
The Next Generation energy from waste facility at Eastern Creek lacks a social license and has the potential to significantly impact the health of the people of Western Sydney.

“Western Sydney is staring down the barrel of a huge incinerator that we know will pollute the air.  I put forward a recommendation to ban polluting waste incinerators within fifteen kilometres from any residential area, but disappointingly not a single other member of the committee supported it.

“Burning waste is no solution at all for the current waste crisis we face. There should be a moratorium on new facilities while waste avoidance, reuse and recycling programs are expanded to their full potential.

“This inquiry was a very timely opportunity to investigate systemic issues in the way NSW deals with an ever increasing amount of waste. I am heartened that the committee recognised this issue and in particular the importance of reducing and avoiding waste, including moving towards zero waste.

“New South Wales is the second highest per capita producer of waste in the world. The system is broken and we need to fix it by focusing on reducing the amount of waste generated in the first place.

“Local Councils are on the frontline of waste management and with China’s ban on importing recyclables, they need more support. The committee’s recommendation that Councils should get back 100% of the waste levy they contribute to fund waste management initiatives will help relieve some of the pressure.

“Regional illegal dumping squads play an important role in combating illegal dumping but we need more of them and with much greater resources, especially in regional areas, and that’s what the report recommends.

“There are still so many questions about significant unresolved issues regarding the Mangrove Mountain landfill site on the Central Coast, including the operation, regulation and approvals of the facility, the role of the then Gosford City Council in issuing development consent as well as the involvement of the Environmental Protection Authority and the Office of Water.

“I am pleased that the Committee has recommended that the NSW Government set up an independent inquiry into the operation, regulation and approvals of the Mangrove Mountain Landfill which is something I have been pushing for in NSW Parliament. The community are calling for a Special Commission of Inquiry and the Premier must listen to them.

“It is disappointing that the Environment Protection Authority had no answers as to why Shoalhaven is counted as a metropolitan area and is charged the higher waste levy of $138.20 per tonne of waste, while councils closer to Sydney pay a lower amount.

That’s why I am supporting the bid to reclassify Shoalhaven as regional for the purposes of the waste levy.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 | Dr Mehreen Faruqi

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