City in shock as report lifts lid on dumping shame
ACTING Ipswich Mayor Paul Tully has announced the Ipswich City Council is powerless to stop trucks coming from New South Wales to dump waste in Ipswich.
Speaking from outside the New Chum Cleanaway site earlier yesterday, Cr Tully said under the Australian constitution neither the council or state government had the authority to control the type of waste crossing the border.
"We only have the power to fine companies if they breach their town planning approvals and there's a series of conditions on these sites but it doesn't relate to the source of the material or material coming in from NSW," Cr Tully said.
"If they breach any areas of the approval such as hours of operation or spilling of litter or those sorts of issues, then we can take action against them.
"We have worked assiduously with the state government in relation to the actual day to day operation of the tips around the Ipswich area and that's all we can do.
"We don't have the power to stop trucks from coming in from NSW nor does the state government."
Councillor Tully's statement came in response to the ABC Four Corner's program, aired on Monday night.
It revealed hundreds of tonnes of waste was being transported each week from northern NSW to south-east Queensland.
Councillor Tully said he would personally make a formal complaint to the NSW Ombudsmen in an effort to get to the bottom of the issue.
"I am writing to the Ombudsman in NSW with an official complaint that the NSW government is not enforcing its own laws which require waste in NSW to be dumped within 150km of the source," Cr Tully said.
"The nuts of and bolts of my letter to the NSW Ombudsmen will be that I'll be asking the NSW Ombudsmen to investigate that and why those laws are not being invoked.
"This is just a joke, they're getting away with blue murder in NSW and we've become the dumping ground in South East Queensland."
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk also released a statement in response to the Four Corners program last night where she said she would speak with her NSW counterpart regarding the issue of interstate waste movement.
"Tonight's ABC TV Four Corners program has raised alarming allegations about the movement of waste from New South Wales into south-east Queensland," the Premier said.
"I will discuss the allegations, including the non-enforcement of the "proximity principle", with New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
"Our cross border agreement commits us to "consistent action on waste management".
"Queensland will not be the dumping ground for New South Wales waste."