Dr Conny Turni and Jim Dodrill.
Dr Conny Turni and Jim Dodrill.

Waste company taking council to court over ‘super dump’

IPSWICH ratepayers will be dragged into another lengthy and costly legal battle with a waste company taking the council to court over its proposed "super dump".

Waste giant BMI submitted an application to Ipswich City Council in February 2018 to establish a landfill with a capacity of 15.7 million cubic metres in an old open-cut mine in New Chum.

It is proposed to clear vegetation to make way for the dry waste facility on the 108.66ha site and operate for 18 years.

It would receive construction and demolition waste materials, commercial and industrial waste and contaminated soils.

BMI informed the council it would seek a deemed refusal after being advised by council officers it was highly unlikely the application would be approved.

The company has filed a notice of appeal with the Planning and Environment Court.

Dr Conny Turni and Ipswich Ratepayers Against Toxic Environments president Jim Dodrill submitted their objections to the development.

In total, 148 proper submissions were made in regards to the application, including by Cleanaway general manager Justin Howard.

"BMI does not have a very good track record," Dr Turni said.

"They're not really telling us what they're going to do.
"This one is massive. It's going to be like a mountain. It's concerning.

"They're basically using us as a low socio economic town where they can dump everything. That's not fair. We're having to bear the cost of our residents getting sick."

Mr Dodrill did not believe the appeal would "go well" for BMI.

Company representatives said in December that a further information request from the council sent in August was "extensive" and "onerous".

"They gave heavily redacted reports from their own consultants," he said.

"The council and the State Government said they need that information and further information as well.

"BMI have basically thrown their hands up and said we're not giving you the information."

Mr Dodrill believed it could be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, dump in the country if approval was granted.

"They want to drain a very large quarry," he said.

"They haven't explained how they would get rid of that water.

"The other big problem is their neighbours Cleanaway have built a massive landfill on top of the water table.

"If BMI drain the water table, it's going to create big problems for Cleanaway."

Mr Dodrill believed since the waste levy was introduced last year, it had "put the brakes" on interstate waste trade.

"It hasn't stopped it all together," he said.

"But it's certainly reduced it dramatically.

"There really isn't the need for all these landfills all over Ipswich.

"(BMI will) be really pushing stuff up hill to get it through the Planning and Environment Court in my opinion, because there's no real justification for it now."

An Ipswich City Council spokesman said BMI exercised their rights under the Planning Act to appeal the fact that a decision had not been made during the appropriate statutory time.

"The applicant had discussions with council officers, where they were advised that it was highly likely that the recommendation from the officers would be to refuse the application," he said.

"The applicant was offered an opportunity to respond to the concerns and to possibly modify the application. They chose to proceed to appeal.

"As the matter is now before the courts, council cannot comment further, nor discuss costs involved."

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