MP: I won’t back waste proposals without ‘community support’
MEMBER-ELECT for Bundamba Lance McCallum said he won't back any proposal for a new waste facility unless it has "community support".
The former union official said one of his first orders of business was to speak to Planning Minister Cameron Dick about extending waste protection measures in Ipswich.
The State Government's temporary local planning instrument (TLPI) that covers Swanbank and New Chum and the Ipswich City Council's TLPI for Ebenezer, Willowbank and Jeebropilly were due to expire this week.
The measures, which maintain a 750-metre buffer zone from existing, approved or planned residential areas, have been extended for another two years.
Residents have raised concerns with Mr McCallum during the election campaign about the controversial waste-to-energy incinerator planned by Remondis for Swanbank.
The proposed $400 million project is still sitting with the State Government's Coordinator-General.
"I haven't seen any specific proposal but I can say that any proposal for a new facility, whether it's waste-to-energy or any other type of proposal when it comes to waste management won't have my support if it doesn't have community support," he said.
He said his focus over the next 12 months would be getting residents through the coronavirus pandemic, while trying to deliver more local jobs.
Mr McCallum hoped to see upgrades to the Ipswich Motorway and the Cunningham Highway finished on schedule.
Ipswich Residents Against Toxic Environments president Jim Dodrill said it was wrong for Mr McCallum to claim credit for the extension of the TLPIs.
"It's something we've been pushing for a while," he said.
"Hopefully in that two-year period we can work with the new council into getting a more permanent solution.
"The extension to the TLPIs came about because of the actions of our group IRATE, other residents and also the former administrator Greg Chemello. It had nothing to do with Mr McCallum."
Mr Dodrill, who run for a Division 3 seat in the council election, said a focus on waste by candidates was a positive sign for the city.
"I've never, in any previous election, seen the waste operations be at the forefront of most of the candidates who are running," he said.
"That's a shift.
"I think the State Government needs to be a bit more open and honest about this Remondis waste incinerator."
Scenic Rim MP Jon Krause again called on the State Government to 'call in' all dump applications before Ipswich City Council.
Mr Krause said there are three dump applications in process in his electorate around Willowbank with two before council, one in court and he believed another was on the horizon.
"Ipswich ratepayers should not have to foot the bill for lengthy, expensive legal challenges, and nor should residents around Willowbank have to face the prospect of another three tips being started in their backyard - and possibly a fourth," he said.
"That would be an outrageous betrayal of these people who put up with mining for 30 years and now face dumps for the next 50 years."
He said Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington has committed a future LNP Government to call in these applications, to take them out of court and out of the council's hands.