Rubbish pile at BMI site in the Swanbank Recycle Park.
Rubbish pile at BMI site in the Swanbank Recycle Park. Rob Williams

Plans to safeguard residents from waste operators approved

WASTE operators across Ipswich have been forced to reduce their effects on the community after planning safeguards were approved by the State Government this week.

Earlier this year the state announced plans to introduce temporary changes to the city's planning scheme to create buffer zones and other safeguards for residents living near new or expanded waste facilities in the Swanbank or New Chum areas.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said he had amended the Temporary Local Planning Instrument after council and industry feedback on its current operation.

"These changes allow waste operators to bring forward new ideas, such as waste to energy solutions, to improve their existing operations and reduce impacts on the community and environment," he said.

Mr Dick said he had also approved the expansion of these safeguards to include the Ebenezer, Willowbank and Jeebropilly industrial areas.

"The Ipswich community now has protections covering the Ebenezer, Willowbank and Jeebropilly areas, in addition to the existing Swanbank and New Chum industrial area," he said.

"While these TLPIs regulate development applications for these areas, the council will use the two-year interim period to amend their planning scheme to address community concerns over the impact of waste facilities.

"Development applications may be given favourable consideration by the Ipswich City Council where it can be clearly demonstrated, with a high degree of certainty, that improved amenity, environmental or community outcomes are able to be achieved.

Mr Dick said the safeguards would complement actions already undertaken including the newly-formed Waste Management Stakeholder Advisory Group and Odour Abatement Taskforce.

Member for Jordan Charis Mullen said the government had consulted with the Ipswich City Council for its comments on both planning changes.

"I am very pleased the planning instruments are now in place and community concerns have been addressed while we use the next two years to work with the department to progress amendments to the planning scheme," she said.

Waste Recycling Industry Association CEO Rick Ralph said industry and government had a critical role in addressing community concerns while maintaining the waste industry's ongoing business aspirations.