Waste company Remondis is hoping to build a $400 million waste to energy plant at its site at Swanbank.
Waste company Remondis is hoping to build a $400 million waste to energy plant at its site at Swanbank.

Waste company addresses moving location of incinerator

WASTE company Remondis has dispelled rumours its controversial incinerator project set for Swanbank could be moved to another part of the city or even further west.

A representative from the company spoke to a meeting of the Willowbank Area Residents Group on Monday night and ruled out the proposed facility being moved from Swanbank.

Rumours had been swirling the $400 million project could be moved to another site in Willowbank or even Millmerran outside Toowoomba.

Render of Remondis’ proposed waste to energy plant set for Swanbank.
Render of Remondis’ proposed waste to energy plant set for Swanbank.

The waste to energy facility was granted coordinated project status by the State Government’s Coordinator-General in June last year.

Remondis project manager Sarah Collins said the company could not just shift locations for the facility as part of the rigorous process and it would not make sense to move it from a site it has operated from since 2012.

It already has a connection to the power grid and access to water at Swanbank.

Little detail has been released to the public on exactly how it would operate other than it will produce 50 megawatts of power, which is enough to power 50,000 homes, and operate 24 hours a day seven days a week.

The company says 70 full time operational jobs will be created.

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Remondis receives about 500,000 tonnes of rubbish a year at its Swanbank site, a former coal mine, which is buried as landfill.

The Coordinator-General is expected to be close to releasing the draft terms of reference, which will be open to public comment.

This will dictate what Remondis needs to address as part of its environmental impact statement; a process which could take up to 18 months.

Only once the EIS, which will also be available for public comment, has been approved can a development application for the facility be submitted to Ipswich City Council for final assessment.

Remondis says it will undertake extensive community consultation once the draft terms of reference have been released.

WAG secretary Ian Dainer says the community needs more information on the proposed waste to energy plant.
WAG secretary Ian Dainer says the community needs more information on the proposed waste to energy plant.

The company, which has built 52 waste to energy plants around Europe, says no more waste will be trucked to the site if the project is approved.

WAG secretary Ian Dainer said he has yet to meet anyone in Ipswich who supports the project and residents were frustrated with the lack of detailed information being released.

“We don’t know what the proposal is,” he said.

“I think those people who are engaged with the community are very keen to support the residents (in Swanbank) because rightly or wrongly it’s going to end up within 500 metres of peoples’ homes.

“The community is anxious.

“We want information now but they aren’t in a position to give us that yet.

“We’re going to have to monitor them rather than them putting up a sign which is the normal process (for waste companies).”

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Former WAG president and committee member George Hatchman said there is feeling among residents the State Government is continually forcing the waste industry towards Ipswich.

“I think we more than carry our share for southeast Queensland,” he said.

“They’re taking revenue (through the waste levy) but they’re not contributing to the infrastructure.

“They’re leaving us as the poor cousin. We need some of those funds to be put back in here.

“We feel we’ve been left down by the State Government.”

Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.



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