In a major pre-election coup for Ipswich City Council and the community, the State Government has accepted an invitation to establish a joint Waste Management Taskforce which will collaborate to address the variety of waste-related issues faced by Ipswich.
Responding to a joint letter from Mayor Teresa Harding and Deputy Mayor Marnie Doyle, Environment and Science Minister Leeanne Enoch accepted their invitation to establish the joint taskforce.
The joint taskforce is envisioned to deliver a comprehensive review of waste policy, regulation and funding models (including the waste levy) to address community and industry issues and develop market opportunities.
“I welcome the acknowledgement that improving waste management in Ipswich is the joint responsibility of Ipswich City Council and the State Government. Close collaboration will be vital to implementing an effective approach to waste management matters in Ipswich,” Minister Enoch wrote.
“A collaborative approach in responding to environmental nuisance and waste regulation is critical for effective, long-term management of these issues.”
Mayor Harding welcomed the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to collaborate with Ipswich City Council and said the establishment of the joint taskforce was timely in addressing both long-standing issues as well as emerging challenges and opportunities.
“Addressing the current state of the waste industry in Ipswich, is a top priority for this council,” Mayor Harding said.
“We have drawn a line in the sand for our community – the quality of life of our residential areas located near waste management sites is being severely impacted – and we need a new approach to engaging with industry and other levels of government to change the status quo for Ipswich.
“We are taking decisive 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.”
Under the title A Clean Slate for Ipswich, council voted unanimously to set up a Waste and Mining Working Group and Industry Representative Group to providing a new platform for council to engage with the community, local businesses and the waste industry in a productive dialogue to shape the future of waste in the city.
Council has also recently given the green light for a review of its Materials Recovery Plan, which guides council’s waste service delivery and planning. A community survey will be launched early November to collect resident’s views on household waste as well as commercial waste needs and inform future council-led initiatives.
Council is also actively contributing to the development of the South East Queensland Waste Management Plan, being led by CoMSEQ, to ensure Ipswich’s challenges are reflected and the opportunities to transform waste management in SEQ is considerate of those challenges.
“The acceptance of our invitation to establish a joint waste taskforce between Ipswich City Council and the Queensland Government is an explicit acknowledgement of the need for both levels of government to work together to solve the challenges we face and leverage the opportunities,” Mayor Harding said.
Deputy Mayor Marnie Doyle said a whole-of-government approach to the problem would be required to solve the impacts to Ipswich residents; as well as address the future infrastructure requirements and ensure that the industry performance markedly improved.
She hoped all political parties would further support the joint taskforce approach post-election.