Politicians' heated public row over Ipswich 'super dump'
WHILE families were sitting down to eat dinner last night Queensland politicians were locked in a heated row over Ipswich and the proposed super dump.
At 6pm last night the LNP Opposition moved a motion for the State Government to 'call in' the BMI application to establish a massive new landfill facility at New Chum.
If approved, the facility would take up to 1.1 million tonnes of waste a year, making it among the largest landfills in Australia.
Opposition leader Deb Frecklington wants the State Government to step in and reject the application.
"Why does this government not stand up for the people of Ipswich?" Mrs Frecklington asked as she put the motion forward.
"Why does this government not stand up for the people of Queensland? What is wrong with Ipswich?
"There are good people in Ipswich. I went to school in Ipswich and I know the Premier went to school in Ipswich. What does this Premier have against the good people of the city of Ipswich?"
Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard, Ipswich West MP Jim Madden and Minister for State Development and Planning Cameron Dick were among those who rose to speak against the motion.
In response, Minister Dick sought to amend the Opposition motion, noting;
- that Ipswich City Council is the assessment agency for the BMI Group's application for a waste facility at New Chum
- that Ipswich City Council has not requested the state to exercise its call-in powers;
- that Ipswich City Council has the power to approve or reject applications to expand existing or establish new waste facilities
- the final report of Justice Peter Lyons' Investigation into the transport of waste into Queensland.
The debate lasted an hour as the State Government stood by its introduction of a waste levy as a "long term solution" to the dumping issue impacting southeast Queensland.
NOTE: **To 'call in' an application means the State Government decides if it is approved or not.**
The Opposition questioned why the State Government had not called in this application as it had done in the past, in "more affluent" electorates.
Last year the State Government 'called in' an application to establish a new residential and commercial hub in the inner-city suburb of West End within the Deputy Premier's electorate.
Brisbane City Council, the proper approval authority, had not yet made a decision on the application.
Since this Labor Government took power, four applications have been called in;
- A master planned residential community in Upper Kedron in Brisbane's North West: April 2015
- A solar farm in the Burkedin Shire Council: August 2015
- West End Village in inner city Brisbane: September 2016
- The construction of a flood levee in the Maranoa Shire Council: October 2016
Other applications have had changes made to approvals by the State Government.
LNP MP Andrew Powell pointed out previous instances where councils had been dismissed as the correct body to assess a major application.
"It was the Brisbane City Council's responsibility for both West Village and Cedar Woods," Mr Powell said.
"I note that the Ipswich City Council has not requested the state to exercise its call-in powers and neither did the Brisbane City Council.
"I note that the Ipswich City Council has the power to approve or reject applications to expand existing or establish new waste facilities.
"That is fine, except that the member for Bundamba says, 'I don't trust the council to deal with the dump.'
"If the member for Bundamba does not trust the council to deal with this dump, then surely this is a prime example of where the minister should be calling in this project, making an assessment and ruling it out."
The motion was defeated.
The Ipswich City Council has asked the State Government to 'call-in' a waste related development, but not the BMI application.
Ipswich Mayor Andrew Antoniolli has formally requested the Bio-Recycle application to increase the amount of waste coming into its facility to be picked up by the Minister.
The matter is already before the courts. An appeal was lodged after the council rejected the development application.
The Minister is considering the council's request.