MP says he will push for ‘tough action’ after dump fire
BUNDAMBA MP Lance McCallum said waste companies who don't properly manage their facilities "need to be brought into line" and should face the "full force of the law."
It comes after a landfill fire in his electorate sent plumes of thick smoke spewing through the city on Sunday afternoon.
Waste company Cleanaway has been issued with an Environmental Protection Order by the Department of Environment and Science for its New Chum site.
According to community group Ipswich Residents Against Toxic Environments, which monitors the activity of waste companies across the city, it was the ninth major fire at the site in the past nine years.
Mr McCallum said he smelt smoke from his Goodna home on Sunday afternoon and drove to Collingwood Park to view the fire.
"I got straight onto the regulators and called for them to get into contact with the company," he said.
"Within 24 hours there was an Environmental Protection Order which is in place at the moment and the investigation is continuing and that's what I'd expect.
"It's completely unacceptable for there to be fires at these kinds of facilities, particularly one that's so close to a residential area."
The first-term Labor MP said he was satisfied with the EPO issued to Cleanaway "so far."
"But we need to be keep on top of these companies going forward and I'm going to be pushing for tough action," he said.
"These companies need to be doing the right thing and all levels of government need to be making sure they are.
"Any company that isn't doing the right thing by the environment and the community needs to be brought into line and they should face extremely tough action and they should have the full force of the law brought on to them."
Ipswich mayor Teresa Harding called on the State Government to increase costs of noncompliance, including fines, to ensure a sufficient deterrent or remove operating licences.
In an open letter to Environment Minister Leanne Enoch, Cr Harding stressed frustration over the council having its hands tied when it comes to site safety and compliance for waste facilities in Ipswich.