Cr David Pahlke.
Cr David Pahlke. David Nielsen

SUPER DUMP: State has power to assess new Ipswich landfill

AN IPSWICH councillor has called on the State Government to step in and assess a controversial application to establish a new landfill facility at New Chum.

Cr David Pahlke said if the application from waste operator BMI made it to the council table, he would vote against it.

Earlier this month, BMI lodged an application to establish a landfill and waste transfer facility at a former disused coal mine at New Chum.

The company says the old mining void would be filled with construction and demolition waste and the property rehabilitated.

The council has not made a decision on the application.

The State Government has the power to assume responsibility for assessing the application, as then Planning Minister Jackie Trad did in 2016 regarding a Sekisui House residential development at West End, Brisbane.

The Planning Act 2016 specifies this power can only be exercised if "the matter involves, or is likely to involve, a state interest, and warrants ministerial involvement".

Cr Pahlke said the State Government had significant interest in the proposed development.

"They should call it in," Cr Pahlke said. "They've done it before and they should do it now.

"We, the council, are bearing the responsibility of the lack of a waste levy. That's why all the trucks are coming up here. This situation is being forced on us."

The State Government's power to "call in" an application lodged with a council includes assessing and deciding on approvals, as well as overturning a council's decision on an application.

Queensland Planning Minister Cameron Dick has the power to overturn a council's decision on a development application.

A spokesperson for the Planning Department said it had not yet received the application and "when it does it will be assessed accordingly".

Mayor Andrew Antoniolli said it was inappropriate to comment on the application "before it had even gone through council's assessment process".

"But I will say the state needs to be more involved and transparent about their involvement in these types development applications."

Politicians, community groups and residents have slammed the proposal to establish a new dump as undesirable for Ipswich, particularly given the site next to the Cunningham Highway is close to residential areas.

The application fee for the development has been paid.