QUESTIONS: Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at the Town Hall meeting at the Racehorse Hotel this week.
QUESTIONS: Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at the Town Hall meeting at the Racehorse Hotel this week. AAP - Josh Woning

Ipswich MP declares "I'm the only community champion"

JO-ANN Miller has taken a swipe at councillors and her own party by declaring she is the only "community champion" of people opposed to the super dump.

Landfill dominated discourse at Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's packed town hall meeting in Booval on Tuesday night.

The largest cheer of the night occurred when Ms Miller took the microphone from Ms Palaszczuk and laid out the region's waste views.

"The message Premier, loud and clear from our community, who have to put up with asthma attacks every day, who have to put up with enormous respiratory problems, they cannot open their houses because of the stink and the smell - we're over it, we've had enough and that's the message tonight," she said.

In a stinging strike against her Labor Party colleagues, councillors and Ms Palaszczuk's neutral views on the dump, Ms Miller later told the QT she was the only representative in touch with residents.

"Because I'm so close to my community - people expect me, and I'm very happy, to be the community champion in relation to these issues," she said.

"I'm usually the only elected official who will actually come out publicly and reflect what the people are saying and I agree with them, quite frankly."

Ms Miller told the 400-strong residents at the meeting the council was not trusted to deal with the application.

"Our council, which many people in this room do not trust, including myself, the councillors, the elected representatives have delegated the decision on this dump to the officers of Ipswich City Council, the faceless bureaucrats who we do not know," she said.

 

Bundamba Labor MP Jo-Ann Miller says she is the only
Bundamba Labor MP Jo-Ann Miller says she is the only "community champion" of people opposed to the new super dump. Michael Noon

 

Ms Miller she said officers should not be put in a position to decide the "extremely passionate" issue.

Ipswich Mayor Andrew Antoniolli, who attended the meeting, afterwards described Ms Miller's comments as flippant and an insult.

"The local member can say what she likes but I have faith in our officers and I have faith in the process," he said.

"I think it's an insult to the staff of our planning department - the majority of whom live in this city, they're not faceless at all.

"It's a fairly flippant comment, to be honest but at the end of the day she's speaking particularly about an application."

An interstate waste levy seems inevitable after Ms Palaszczuk strengthened her comments and declared she "would not stand for Queensland being the dumping ground for New South Wales".

Most Cabinet ministers sat quietly for an hour as the dump proposal continued to dominate discourse.

Littered between questions about the super dump, residents at Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's town hall event wanted to know what her government was doing about mental health and infrastructure.

Concerned with vehicle congestion on the region's roads, one questioner wanted to know what was being done to get people out of cars and onto public transport.

"As the population grows we will need more trains," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"We know how important it is to have connectivity with buses and with trains.

"In terms of going up to Toowoomba - what we're doing is making sure the roads get upgraded, the second range crossing is being built so hopefully that'll make things better."

Ms Palaszczuk said an increase in the frequency of public transport was slowly happening across the network.

But the Premier did not mention a timeline for the long-awaited rail extension from Springfield Central.

Several people also thanked the State Government for its $124 million investment into expanding the hospital, building a new 50-bed mental health facility and an MRI machine.

Health Minister Steven Miles said the government was investing in fighting mental illness.

"We're acknowledging that the existing one is quite old and we need the new one," he said.

"When people are at the point of needing a facility like that one it's because all of our other interventions have failed and the best place to be dealing with this is in the community."