How taskforce will investigate 'Swanbank stink'
INVESTIGATORS will literally follow their noses to find the source of unpleasant smells plaguing Ipswich residents.
A new office has opened at Redbank Plains where the team of 10 specialist environmental officers will be based, as part of a new taskforce to crackdown on smells impacting residents.
The taskforce was officially announced today.
Each officer's nose has been calibrated to help sniff out the source of odour and equipment will also be used to determine exactly what materials are causing the smell.
Team members will work in pairs and will be available to respond immediately to complaints about odour.
The Odour Abatement Taskforce will operate from a shop at Redbank Plains on Alawoona St.
Team leader and compliance manager Dave Darvall said his team's goal was to experience the same smells as Ipswich residents, in real time, over the next 12 months.
"If somebody has an odour complaint, it's best if that complaint comes to us quickly," Mr Darvall said.
"The best way to manage odour is to be out there, smelling what the community is smelling.
"While we are out in the field we will be trying to triangulate the source of the smell."
He said information would be collected to determine if any operator had committed an offence or if compliance action, which could be in the form of a fine, was warranted.
The team could take immediate action in some cases, such as directing the operator to use water spraying to control dust, but confirmed masking the smell was not on the agenda.
"We're not particularly interested in masking the smell, we're here to get to the source," Mr Darvall said.
"We have a very large body of support behind us in the department and we will be bringing all of that here to Ipswich in the coming 12 months to address what has become a growing issue."
Ipswich residents have been complaining about unpleasant smells for years.
Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said as the city had grown, residential areas had encroached on industrial areas and the problem had become more pronounced.
"We're seeing more and more estates being established an more people moving into areas where there are already waste facilities established," Ms Enoch said.
"We are seeing an increase in concerns about those nuisance odours.
"The independent survey gave us some great intelligence, some solid information to be able to act.
"This all came about because the community participated in such a strong way in the community survey."
Ms Enoch would not say which specific waste operators were believed to be contributing to the smell but assured Ipswich residents the team would take action to reduce the nuisance odour.