Parliamentary Inquiry says 'No' to the incinerator in Western Sydney - Berejiklian must take action

In Parliament | 28.03.18

A NSW Parliamentary Inquiry set up to scrutinise energy from waste technology, including the proposal for a massive waste-burning incinerator at Eastern Creek in Western Sydney, has recommended the NSW Government not approve the incinerator project.

The recommendation states:

That, subject to the current assessment process being conducted by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, the NSW Government not approve the energy from waste facility proposed by The Next Generation at Eastern Creek.

In light of the recommendations, the NSW Labor Opposition has today called on Premier Gladys Berejiklian to stop the Dial A Dump proposal to burn 1.3 million tonnes of waste per year at Eastern Creek.

The incinerator proposal is currently being assessed by the Department of Planning before being referred to the Planning Assessment Commission later in the year for a final decision. This proposal does not have the support of the NSW Environment Protection Authority or NSW Health, and now importantly does not have the support of the cross-party parliamentary committee set up to examine the issues with energy from waste technology.

Labor also welcome the findings of the parliament inquiry that demonstrates that more work needs to be done in NSW before energy from waste proposal can be considered in particular the committee’s recommendation that the NSW Government establish an expert advisory body on energy from waste chaired by the Chief Scientist to examine and report on the energy from waste including:

  • changes required to the Energy from Waste Recovery Guidelines to guarantee that New South Wales uses only world’s best practices in emissions, emissions monitoring and residual waste disposal
  • consent conditions required in any planning approval to guarantee that New South Wales uses only world’s best practices in emissions, emissions monitoring and residual waste disposal
  • the impact of energy from waste on human health
  • the impact of energy from waste on recycling targets

The NSW Labor Opposition has firmly opposed the incinerator proposal, already bringing to State Parliament a petition of more than 12,000 signatures of residents in Western Sydney whose homes, schools and businesses will be directly affected by the incinerator.

Labor’s Member for Blacktown, Stephen Bali has given notice of a bill in the Parliament to prevent the incinerator being built at Eastern Creek and introduce a moratorium on any other energy-from-waste incinerators. This bill will be debated in coming weeks.

The Government is yet to make its position clear in relation to the incinerator proposal. Premier Gladys Berejiklian and local member Tanya Davies have failed to say what they would do to stop the project and protect local residents.

Ms Berejiklian has in the past made non-committal statements that the Government would “consider its options”.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Environment Minister Penny Sharpe 

“Labor shares the concerns of people in Western Sydney who will be directly affected by this dangerous incinerator, and now a cross-party committee has validated them.” 

“The Premier must stand up today and guarantee that this incinerator will not go ahead.” 

Quotes attributable to Shadow Assistant Minister for Western Sydney and Member for Londonderry Prue Car 

“The fact is this government would never enforce toxic incinerator fumes on the homes, schools and shops over on the North Shore, so why should people in Western Sydney be forced to endure toxic pollution from this potentially deadly plant.”

“Western Sydney has spoken, and now a parliamentary inquiry has spoken. Western Sydney will not be the Government’s dumping ground, and we demand the Government respect the will of the community." 

Quotes attributable to Member for Blacktown Stephen Bali 

“I welcome the committee’s recommendation to stop this incinerator in its tracks, and it is well past time for the Government to listen and act. 

It is now up to the Berejiklian Government to stop the incinerator.”

Quotes attributable to Labor Candidate for Mulgoa Todd Carney

“The community wants the weasel words from Tanya Davies to stop. Today is the day Ms Davies must commit to stopping this incinerator.”