Mayor: Make voices heard about incinerator project right now
IPSWICH mayor Teresa Harding said she does not support the $400 million waste to energy plant proposed for the city and residents need to act now if they don't want it come to fruition.
Declared a coordinated project by the State Government's Coordinator General late last month, proponent Remondis says it will create 200 jobs during construction and up to 70 locals jobs once it is operational.
The State Government told the community the proposed project would face the most rigorous assessment process available under Queensland law.
But for now, the process is out of Ipswich City Council's hands.
Cr Harding encouraged anyone with concerns to contact their local state MP or State Development Minister Kate Jones.
"I personally don't support it and I haven't come across anyone in the street who does," Cr Harding said.
"It could take up to two years for the project to come to council.
"It only comes to council once the State Government is very happy and approves and ticks off on all the environmental impacts as well as the community consultation.
"This council is really committed to ensuring that the community's concerns are represented."
Cr Harding said the council will only able to assess the proposal against the planning scheme, if it gets to that stage.
"It's currently zoned as landfill," she said.
"We're between a rock and a hard place, which is why we're pushing back so hard now.
"We need to do it now.
"We can always say no at that meeting in which case I would imagine Remondis would take us to court and against that's going to cost millions of dollars.
"That's why it's really important we push back."
The council has spent $2.5 million of ratepayer funds since 2016 in court in legal cases against waste companies.
"I'm sure the people of Ipswich would much rather millions of dollars be spent on their local parks or fixing up potholes or doing more kerb and channelling," she said.
"How many change rooms could we build for sporting teams (with that money)?
"It's just a waste of ratepayer money.
"I really encourage people to call their state MPs and that gives the state MPs the opportunity to speak to their minister as well about the view of the community."