Fire at Cleanaway's New Chum landfill site on July 19.
Fire at Cleanaway's New Chum landfill site on July 19.

‘New approach’: Joint taskforce formed to tackle waste

IPSWICH City Council has partnered with the State Government to establish a joint waste taskforce, with mayor Teresa Harding saying a “new approach” was needed to find solutions for longstanding issues.

Environment and Science Minister Leeanne Enoch accepted an invitation from Cr Harding and deputy mayor Marnie Doyle to set up the taskforce.

The council says the partnership will deliver a comprehensive review of waste policy, regulation and funding models including the waste levy introduced last year.

Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch.
Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch.

It comes a few months after a large landfill fire, which sent plumes of smoke across the city, resulted in a public stoush between the two levels of government.

The council said its hands were tied when it came to cracking down on waste operators and it had “virtually no enforcement powers” to enforce site safety and compliance.

“I welcome the acknowledgment that improving waste management in Ipswich is the joint responsibility of Ipswich City Council and the State Government,” Ms Enoch wrote to the council.

“Close collaboration will be vital to implementing an effective approach to waste management matters in Ipswich.

“A collaborative approach in responding to environmental nuisance and waste regulation is critical for effective, long-term management of these issues.”

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Cr Harding said sorting out waste issues was a “top priority” for the council.

“We have drawn a line in the sand for our community,” she said.

“The quality of life of our residential areas located near waste management sites is being severely impacted and we need a new approach to engaging with industry and other levels of government to change the status quo for Ipswich.

“We are taking decisive steps towards a new way of engaging with, and working with, our community, interest groups, key stakeholders, subject matter experts, and the waste industry on this issue.”

Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.