Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding has called on the State Government and Remondis to consult closely with the community following the company’s proposed waste-to-energy facility being declared a coordinated project.
The Office of the Coordinator-General said the $400 million project planned for Swanbank will undergo rigorous assessment before given the green light.
In response to an increase in community interest in the project, Ipswich City Council has today launched a dedicated information page about the proposed facility on council’s Shape Your Ipswich platform, including an FAQ section.
Mayor Harding said feedback from the Ipswich community indicated people had a range of concerns about what has been proposed for the site.
“At this stage, this is a State Government process and information about the proposal is available from the Queensland Government’s Department of State Development, Tourism and Innovation’s website,” she said.
The State Government, together with the applicant, controls all elements of public consultation for coordinated projects.
“Remondis and the State Government have a legal and moral obligation to ensure that the people of Ipswich are properly consulted with, throughout the entire process,” Mayor Harding said.“I have met with Minister for State Development, Tourism and Innovation Kate Jones and we agreed on the need for an exceptionally robust community engagement on this project.
“This is not a council process and the applicant will have to get the State Government’s tick of approval before they can lodge a development application with council.”
A project that has been declared a coordinated project is not automatically approved for construction.
The Mayor said the State Government needed to give the Ipswich community as much time and opportunity to review and comment on the proposal.
Council would also provide as much input into the process as possible and ensure that community feedback and engagement is part of the process being undertaken by the State Government and Remondis and that the correct technical information is being prepared and considered by the Coordinator-General.
Mayor Harding said she and fellow councillors cannot lawfully predetermine the decision of development application until such time as it is presented to council.
The Mayor said she is following through on her election commitment to examine the waste issues facing the region and is expecting to make further announcements about this by the end of July.
- Remondis lodged an application for State Government consideration in December 2018.
- Remondis has not yet submitted a development application to Ipswich City Council. Nothing is being considered by council at this stage in relation to the proposed project.
- The next step will involve Remondis undertaking an Environment Impact Statement (EIS) process. This process involves the preparation of technical reports to support the proposal and address state and local interests, including planning and environment issues.
- An EIS can be a complicated and lengthy process. Remondis will likely have 18 months to finalise an EIS for approval by the Office of the Coordinator-General.
- Ipswich City Council is unlikely to receive an application for development approval of this proposal until the EIS process has been finalised, which could be late 2021.
- The Coordinator-General’s coordinated project process actually occurs before – not after – a development application is considered by council.
- The coordinated project process is not a development approval.
- It is an impact assessment study that is considered by the Coordinator-General, who then makes conclusions and recommendations that the council must take into consideration when/if a development application is actually lodged.
For further information on the proposed facility and your FAQs answered, go to Shape Your Ipswich