Time to clean up the NSW waste industry – Labor Opposition demands government intervention

In Parliament | 08.08.17

The Labor Opposition is calling for the NSW Government to intervene and fix the broken waste system in NSW. 

The report on Monday night’s ABC 4 Corners program revealed: 

  • Over 50 per cent of recycled materials is not being recycled and is ending up in landfill or stockpiled interstate;
  • Illegal dumping is running rampant with the Environment Protection Authority failing to act;
  • Unsuitable sites like Mangrove Mountain are set to expand and put at risk the water catchment on the Central Coast;
  • NSW waste is being trucked to Queensland costing NSW over $100 million a year;
  • The risks of the world’s largest energy from waste proposal in Western Sydney. 

The Opposition is calling on the State Government to take the following actions: 

  • Support an expansion of the terms of reference of the current Upper House Parliamentary Inquiry into Energy from Waste to examine the issues raised in the 4 Corners program;
  • Demand that the EPA review and report on outstanding illegal dumping investigations and prosecutions to the Parliamentary Inquiry;
  • Instigate a special inquiry into the dumping at Mangrove Mountain and safety of the water catchment;
  • Put the issue of interstate waster transfer onto the National Environment Ministers Agenda to stop interstate waste transfers;
  • Not proceed with approval for the Western Sydney Energy from Waste Proposal;
  • Throw the book at illegal and shonky operators. 

Comments attributed to Shadow Minister for the Environment, Penny Sharpe 

“The NSW waste system is broken and the NSW Government can no longer turn a blind eye to the problems. The time has come to step in and fix it. 

“Illegal operators need to have the book thrown at them. 

“Hundreds of millions of dollars are being lost to NSW as our environment and our communities suffer the consequences of illegal dumping. 

“There needs to be a stop to proposals that put at risk the health and wellbeing of our communities and attention given to the real solutions of dealing with waste; prevention, reuse and a recycling system that works. 

 “The NSW Government has only one environmental target – reducing litter. Failure to act on these serious issues makes a mockery of this commitment.”