Should the State Government call in old dump development applications?
Should the State Government call in old dump development applications? Rob Williams

Should Qld Govt call in old dump applications?

IT WAS stated at a recent QT election forum that the State Government should call in and decide all dump development applications, including those that were refused by Council and are currently the subject of an appeal in the Planning & Environment Court. 

The concern, and it is a legitimate one, is the amount of money waste companies are costing Ipswich ratepayers by exercising their right of appeal.

As annoying as this is, it must be understood that defending decisions in the P&E Court is a cost of Council business. Such cases are also currently being contested by residential and commercial developers, not just dump proponents. 

Council cannot simply approve an inappropriate development for fear of the cost of defending the refusal in court.

Council recently won a landmark appeal case against Bio-Recycle which had applied for a 25 metre expansion of its dump in Swanbank. 

Council mounted a rigorous defence in that case and recognised that the judgement provided a compelling template for future decisions in similar appeals.

It must also be understood that State Government call-ins of dump development applications are no guarantee of refusal, and once decided, there is no further recourse for the community.

Waste companies are big business and they are also donors to political parties and candidates. 

Past and current searches of the ECQ Disclosure System have revealed that since 2015, donations by five different waste companies currently operating or applying to operate in Ipswich have totalled to date, more than $100,000.  Of this, nearly $76,000 came from a single waste operator. 

That's a lot of purchasing power.

Best to keep the decision it in the hands of our new, more rigorous council.

Janet Tutin, Collingwood Park.