Ipswich City Council will establish two new waste groups to address a long-standing issue for residents.
In a special Mayoral Motion tabled at the council meeting on 28 July, full council support was received for the establishment of two waste-focused groups to address the complex issues the city faces around waste, as well as the long-standing impacts it is having on residents.
Under the title A Clean Slate for Ipswich, Mayor Teresa Harding proposed the establishment of a Waste and Mining Working Group and a Waste and Mining Industry Representative Group, both of which she will chair, with all councillors invited to participate as members.
“The Ipswich City Council local government area receives approximately 58 per cent of all waste disposed of in Queensland and receives 73 per cent of waste disposed of in South East Queensland,” she said.
“Fighting the war on waste is one of council’s top priorities. We have drawn a line in the sand for our community – the noise, odours and air pollutants have become too much for residents around waste management sites – and we desperately need a new approach to engaging with industry and other levels of government to achieve a clean slate for Ipswich.
“Today I propose that we take unambiguous steps towards a new way of engaging with – and working with – our community, interest groups, key stakeholders, subject matter experts, and the waste industry on this issue.”
Mayor Harding highlighted the remit of the two working groups, to:
- Develop the “Clean Slate” White Paper to outline the current challenges and opportunities and determine a preferred future state for waste and mining in Ipswich;
- Provide input into the upcoming review of the council’s Materials Recovery Plan;
- Provide input into council’s submission to the development of the CoMSEQ Waste Management Plan;
- Provide input into council’s engagement and submissions on other waste related issues across the both levels of government.
“The clean slate white paper will set the record straight on waste in Ipswich, highlighting the current challenges we face and the opportunities to remedy these,” she said.
Deputy Mayor Marnie Doyle said the working group would be a vehicle in which council could strongly advocate for appropriate professionals and experts to guide them through.
“The time for talking is over. The time for change is now; council needs to explore all options including reviewing our planning scheme levers, to identify how we can better protect the rights of residents to breath fresh, clean air and enjoy an envious lifestlye right across our city,” Cr Doyle said.
Cr Kate Kunzelmann said the waste issue was one that all councillors needed to show leadership on, while Cr Jacob Madsen said there had been considerable feedback from the community.
“There is a lot of concern in the community about the waste industry and how it is operating,” he said.
Cr Andrew Fechner said the recent fire at the New Chum landfill site had led to angst with nearby residents.
“In light of recent events, it is timely that we lead a new era of engagement across the community and waste sector. This is an important move for us as a council to demonstrate we are listening to the concerns of our community and we are not going to stand idly by. We need to stand up for our community and work with industry and governments to deliver better health and environmental outcomes,” he said.
The motion received unanimous support from councillors.