Ipswich mayor Teresa Harding.
Ipswich mayor Teresa Harding.

Mayor says State Government can’t pass the buck over waste

IPSWICH mayor Teresa Harding said the State Government can't pass the buck when it comes to cracking down on waste companies, with residents fed up with dealing with dust, noise and odour from dumps and other facilities.

The comments come in response to words from Environment Minister Leanne Enoch, who said the council has "an important role to play" when it comes to waste operations it authorises and Cr Harding needed to "take that responsibility seriously."

Cr Harding said the council takes its compliance responsibilities in regards to development seriously.

"However, the issues the community are experiencing, such as dust, noise, air quality and odour, are all within the jurisdiction of the State Government," she said.

"The State Government has responsibility for the issuing of and compliance with environmental licenses which are critical to the operation of these facilities.

"It is apparent that the release of dust, noise, air quality and odour is a result of some form of ongoing noncompliance with an environmental standard relevant to the environmental licenses."

Environment Minister Leanne Enoch.
Environment Minister Leanne Enoch.

Cr Harding said despite millions of dollars being invested in the State Government's Odour Abatement Taskforce, the Ipswich community still had ongoing concerns.

More than 6000 complaints have been directed to the taskforce since it launched in 2018.

"While we have regulatory oversight of some elements of the operations of landfill operations, it is areas that are regulated by the State Government that we receive the most complaints about," she said.

Cr Harding said the introduction of the waste levy by the State Government had led to a rise in illegal dumping in places like Ipswich.

"Anecdotal evidence suggests that councils on the metropolitan fringe, such as Ipswich, will bear a higher proportion of the cost of managing this illegal dumping," she said.

Cr Harding said the council had appointed two officers to investigate illegal dumping activities.

In response to comments from Bundamba MP Lance McCallum that the waste levy delivered $7.3 million to the council last year, Cr Harding said it was a rebate to offset the waste levy.

"The payment is to mitigate any direct impacts of the levy on households," she said.

"It is to ensure local governments don't pass on costs of the levy to households for the disposal of residential waste.

"This is a critical issue for the community - both State Government and the council need to be doing whatever we can to resolve this issue."

Cr Harding said she appreciated Mr McCallum's swift response to the fire to ensure environmental regulators were on site the next day.

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