During this election campaign, a number of people have raised with us the proposed waste to energy plant proposed for the Woodlawn site at Tarago, requesting The Greens’ view.
The project would involve transporting waste from Sydney and burning it to generate electricity.
While the proposed site is outside Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC) , it has the potential to adversely affect the health, wellbeing and amenity of people living in QPRC, as well as the local environment and wildlife. It could also jeopardise agricultural enterprises and adversely affect livestock.
The Greens in Queanbeyan-Palerang do not support this project because of the high risk of harm to people, wildlife and the environment. In addition, incineration is not an environmentally benign way to manage waste. A plant of this kind sets up an arrangement that can create incentives to increase waste instead of working towards zero waste. We need to invest in clean, renewable energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Residents of western Sydney successfully opposed a similar project in 2018. People living in regional NSW are no less entitled to protection from harmful industrial processes. Sydney needs to manage its waste in a sustainable manner.
It is also worth nothing that European countries are starting to move away from incineration as a way of managing waste.
QPRC objected to a similar proposal for Fyshwick in the ACT. Greens Cr Peter Marshall will move at the next QPRC meeting on 24 November for a report from council staff on the proposed incinerator.
The Tarago proposal is expected to be designated as state-significant development which takes the decision whether to approve it out of the hands of local councils. However, if councils object and the state planning authority receives enough submissions from concerned members of the public, it is possible to trigger a more comprehensive assessment which can bring to light the full impacts of the proposed plant.
Authorised by D. Hayden for The Greens NSW. Suite D, 263-279 Broadway, GLEBE NSW 2037.