Parliamentary Inquiry on waste calls for independent inquiry into Mangrove Mountain Landfill site

In Parliament | 28.03.18

A NSW Parliamentary Inquiry investigating critical issues in the waste industry has recommended the NSW Government establish an independent inquiry to investigate the operation, regulation and approvals of the Mangrove Mountain Landfill site.

In light of the findings, the NSW Labor Opposition has today called for the Berejiklian Government to end its head in the sand approach to the Mangrove Mountain site and instead act quickly to set up the independent inquiry.

After hearing from expert witnesses and receiving hundreds of submissions from around the state about a wide range of waste industry issues, the parliamentary committee today handed down its report.

The recommendation about the Mangrove Mountain landfill site comes after many years of persistent questioning and advocacy from members of the local community and organisations such as the Mountain Districts Association, and after serious issues regarding development approvals and landfill operations were raised last year by the ABC’s Four Corners program.

The Berejiklian Government has previously shown little interest in uncovering the complex history of the landfill site and its potential impact on the environment. The site was originally approved to take 80,000m3 of waste and is now reported to hold ten times that amount. Current approvals will allow another 1.3 million tonnes of waste to be dumped there.

The Central Coast community deserve to know the truth about how approvals were granted, whether the NSW Environment Protection Authority regulated the site adequately, and whether there was a serious conflict between the former Gosford City Council being both the consent authority and a sizeable user of the landfill. It is time for the Government to stop evading these questions and act now to begin the inquiry. 

Quotes attributable to Shadow Environment Minister Penny Sharpe 

“As a member of this parliamentary inquiry I am pleased this recommendation was adopted, and I am eager to help the community get to the bottom of the many long-held concerns about how the Mangrove Mountain landfill came to be what it is today. 

“Past efforts to urge the Berejiklian Government to support an inquiry have always been rejected – it is now time for the Government to get out of the way and let an independent inquiry take its course.” 

Quotes attributable to Member for Gosford Liesl Tesch 

“Today’s recommendation is the result of the resolve and persistence of the community, and I want to thank those individuals and organisations who never gave up on their fight for the truth about this landfill site. 

“The community now has every right to expect their government to support a full, independent investigation of this large waste dump, with its long history of compliance issues, unusual development approvals, and its potential to impact the environment and our water catchment. 

“The cross-party parliamentary committee has now spoken, and the Government must listen and act to set up the inquiry without delay.”