Protesters rubbish claims of 'man who doesn't live here'
CONCERNED residents have rubbished claims they are just a "noisy minority" in their opposition to a proposed $400 million waste-to-energy facility in Ipswich.
About 200 people attended a public rally held on Saturday to protest plans by German waste company Remondis for an incinerator at Swanbank.
Waste Recycling Industry Queensland CEO Rick Ralph said last week those opposed to the project were just a "noisy minority trying to enforce upon the community the industry is out of control."
He said the "well-constructed (and) properly regulated" facilities, such as in Paris and Copenhagen, would not be harmful to people or the environment, while producing electricity to power homes.
Ipswich Residents Against Toxic Environments president Jim Dodrill said the rally was organised to shed light on the negative impacts of the project, which came from studies of similar facilities around the world.
He said the facility would not be waste-to-energy, but "waste-to-waste."
"The ash that comes out of it is full of mercury and lead and all sorts of things that are really difficult to dispose of," he said.
"It's our contention that if Remondis gets through... other big waste operators will all say they'll want one too. The floodgates will open."
Ipswich City Council interim administrator Greg Chemello, who has previously expressed reservations about the facility, and Greens MP Michael Berkman spoke at the event.
"There is no benefit to the community. The hazard to health is too great, the carbon footprint is too great," Mr Dodrill said.
"It's just another way for the waste industry to make money.
"The overriding sentiment we got from Saturday is that we'll fight this to the end."
He believed Ipswich was fed up with being treated as a dumping ground and challenged Mr Ralph to publicly debate him on the issue.
"Two hundred people on Saturday morning took time out of their busy schedules to come along," he said.
"Over 4000 people signed our parliamentary petition to say that they oppose this incinerator.
"Rick Ralph doesn't live here. It's easy for him to say it's not an incinerator. He needs to get his facts straight before he makes these sweeping statements.
"We might get noisy at times because we're sick and tired of what the waste industry has done to Ipswich. We're certainly not a minority."