‘The Ipswich Ibis Ippy’ in Brisbane as part of the launch of the Ipswich Incinerator Campaign Action Group
‘The Ipswich Ibis Ippy’ in Brisbane as part of the launch of the Ipswich Incinerator Campaign Action Group

’Ippy’ ibis visits Parliament House to oppose incinerator

IPSWICH MP Jennifer Howard said she does not support the controversial incinerator proposed for the city, despite previous comments welcoming the $400 million facility.

It comes as a new anti-waste group launched a campaign against the proposal ahead of the state election next month.

Waste giant Remondis’ waste to energy project was granted coordinated project status by the State Government’s Coordinator General in June.

Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard.
Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard.

State Development Minister Kate Jones said this would mean the proposal would face the most rigorous assessment process available under Queensland law.

Ms Howard has yet to see full plans for the proposed plant at Swanbank but said she does not support the project.

She said she hopes to make her “position clear” in Parliament this week.

“We do have landfill in our area and I think it can be an opportunity rather than a negative,” Ms Howard previously told the QT.

“We look to Europe as an example of good practice when it comes to using waste for energy and renewable energies.

“This type of project is accepted practice... there’s one in Paris.

“Ipswich could become the Paris of southeast Queensland.”

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The Ipswich Incinerator Campaign Action Group launched on Monday outside Parliament House, with the aim of sending the State Government and Remondis a “strong and clear message” that the plant will not benefit the people of Ipswich

Spokesperson Jim Dodrill said the group is made up of concerned Ipswich residents, environmental groups, political activists and medical professionals.

They were joined on Monday by the ‘Ipswich Ibis Ippy’, who is made from plastic bags.

“We’ve all come together, united on the issue of the Remondis incinerator proposal and the wider waste industry in Ipswich,” Mr Dodrill said.

“People have come from all different political persuasions.

“Today was just the start. We have a number of rallies planned in the coming weeks before the state election.

“People are determined to have their voices heard by the government in relation to this issue.”

Mr Dodrill is the president of both the Ipswich Ratepayers and Residents Association and the Ipswich Residents Against Toxic Environments community group.

After many years battling against the waste industry in Ipswich, Mr Dodrill said he was encouraged by the efforts of new mayor Teresa Harding but was wary about whether a corner had been turned.

Cr Harding opposes the incinerator proposal and has been outspoken about the negative impact of waste on the city and the need for changes to be made.

About 58 per cent of Queensland’s waste is dumped in Ipswich.

“There’s a lot of money behind this kind of project,” Mr Dodrill said.

“We know that the waste industry is driven by profit and profit alone.

“This (project) would be highly profitable for them.”

Ipswich West MP Jim Madden said his position on the proposal had not changed since a speech he made to Parliament in May last year.

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“I am yet to be convinced that this project will benefit the Ipswich community or that this is an environmentally acceptable method to generate electricity in Ipswich,” he said at the time.

Mr Madden said he met with former Labor MP John Mickel, who was then working as a lobbyist for Remondis, in November last year.

“(It was) to arrange a site visit for the existing Remondis Swanbank landfill,” he said.

“I visited the landfill in December.

“We had a tour of the landfill site and the existing methane power plant.

“As I recall, after the tour there was a PowerPoint briefing about the proposed incinerator but I didn’t receive any detailed plans.

“In August (this year), I had a short teleconference with Three Plus on behalf of Remondis about their plans for community consultation for the proposed incinerator.”

Jordan MP Charis Mullen and Bundamba MP Lance McCallum did not respond to request for comment.

LNP Shadow Minister for State Development Andrew Powell told the QT the project should be approved if it “has the support of the community and creates jobs for locals.”

Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.