‘Largest rally in Ipswich’s history’ against waste proposal
IPSWICH mayor Teresa Harding called on the State Government and waste giant Remondis to ensure "proper community consultation" is undertaken in the next stage of the approval process of a proposed waste to energy plant.
She said she was disappointed to learn about the latest development through the media on the day she handed down the city's $603.4 million budget.
In response to this latest development, residents and community groups are organising the "largest and most vocal" rally in Ipswich's history in opposition.
The QT reported today that the Coordinator-General had declared the facility proposed for Swanbank as a coordinated project.
Waste company Remondis' $400 million proposal would face the most rigorous assessment process available under Queensland law, according to State Development Minister Kate Jones.
It still needs approval from Ipswich City Council and an environmental authority from the Department of Environment and Science.
The proposal had sat with the Office of the Coordinator-General since December 2018.
Speaking at a council meeting this afternoon, Cr Harding said the council had been informed of the decision through the QT story.
"The State Government has a certain process that they needed to follow," Cr Harding said.
"We've obviously been notified through the media today that that process was starting today."
Cr Harding agreed with Division 1 councillor Ireland that it was poor timing to announce it on budget day.
Speaking at a press conference after handing down the 2020-21 budget, Cr Harding said the Ipswich community needed to be listened to.
"Certainly during the (council election campaign), Ipswich residents were pretty clear about their views on this, so I think we have to go through this process," she said.
"I'm going to urge people to remember this is a State Government process and there's a State Government election on in October as well.
"I also encourage Remondis and the State Government to ensure proper community consultation is done throughout this entire process."
Ipswich Residents Against Toxic Environments and Ipswich Ratepayers and Residents Association president Jim Dodrill said local community groups were united against the proposal.
"(IRATE) went along to numerous meetings and spoke to high level public servants in relation to (the proposal)," he said.
"At the end of the day we may as well have not been there. They paid no attention whatsoever to what we gave them. We highlighted where they were going wrong in terms of waste to energy.
"I think they've made up their minds.
"They've stopped talking to us now."
Mr Dodrill said he was in the process of organising a public meeting and a rally against the proposal in conjunction with other community groups.
"We're expecting the largest and most vocal rally in the history of Ipswich," he said.
"Kate Jones is the MP for Ashgrove. You don't see any proposal for an incinerator going to Ashgrove because people wouldn't have it over there. They think Ipswich is the place to send all the waste."
He hopes to hold the rally within the next month.