Ipswich's 'second-class residents' want protection from dump
WILLOWBANK residents faced with an expanding waste operation in their backyard are questioning why the State Government has not moved to protect them in the same way as communities around Swanbank.
State Development and Planning Minister Cameron Dick exercised his power last week and created a temporary planning law change in an effort to minimise effects of waste operations on nearby residents.
The Temporary Local Planning Instrument has created a buffer of 750m from existing, approved or planned residential areas where landfill activities will not be supported.
The change largely prevents new or expansions to existing waste facilities in the Swanbank and New Chum industrial area.
An open mine at Jeebropilly could be the next site of a major dump, with Lantrak proposing to dump 30 million tonnes of waste in the hole over 30 years.
Willowbank residents living around the proposed site have questioned why Mr Dick was not offering the same protection developed for Swanbank.
Willowbank Area Residents' Group president George Hatchman questioned why they were being treated like "second-class citizens".
"To ostracise us and say what's good for Kerry Silver's side of the world is not good for David Pahlke's side of the world. I don't know if it's politically biased," he said.
"We're being treated like second-class citizens."
Mr Hatchman met the LNP's Member for Scenic Rim Jon Krause on the corner of the congested Cunningham Highway yesterday.
"If it's good enough for Swanbank and New Chum then I think it should be good enough for Willowbank and Jeebropilly and Ebenezer and also the residents that are affected by the mine void and the potential for new waste facilities."
"They're facing the prospect of a waste facility and yet the Government doesn't seem to think that's important enough to give the same protection there that they've given to Swanbank and New Chum."
Mr Krause questioned why the State Government rejected the Opposition's motion in Parliament to call in BMI's Swanbank super-dump proposal, but were now intervening. "They refused to support that motion because they said it was up to councils to deal with these issues," he said.
"If there's going to be state protection for the city through these Temporary Local Planning Instruments, then apply it to the whole city rather than just cherry-picking bits of the city."
Mr Krause acknowledged his Federal Government colleagues needed to fund an upgrade to the Cunningham Highway and said he had written to ministers seeking support.
Minister Dick's defence: Willowbank 'would cause legal problems'
A PROPOSAL to extend new planning restrictions and protect Willowbank residents from waste operations was rejected by the minister because of a potential legal challenge, his spokeswoman said.
Residents at Willowbank, Ebenezer and Jeebropilly questioned why people around Swanbank were protected by the new planning laws, but they were not.
A spokeswoman for Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the State Government wants to work with the community.
"The Minister accepted the Department's clear advice against extending the Ministerial TLPI to Willowbank on the basis that such an extension could be challenged," she said.
"The Minister will consider any other solutions that council wishes to propose in relation to the planning scheme for Willowbank.
"Unlike the LNP, the Palaszczuk Labor Government seeks to work with the Ipswich community and its council, and not leave Ipswich and Willowbank to be the dumping ground of Australia."
The spokeswoman hit back at Scenic Rim MP Jon Krause's view Labor was attempting to secure its own seats.
Mr Krause had questioned why the State Government meddled with planning laws.
"Mr Krause should explain to his community why he voted with the LNP to repeal the waste levy and left constituents exposed to an explosion of waste dumping in their backyards," she said. "The Minister made the decision to implement the Ministerial TLPI in consultation with council.
"Neither the council or anybody else has ever supported the LNP's half-baked call-in request."