One Gympie councillors says the region has a great opportunity to resolve long-standing rubbish issues following community backlash against a proposed waste to energy incinerator in Ipswich.
One Gympie councillors says the region has a great opportunity to resolve long-standing rubbish issues following community backlash against a proposed waste to energy incinerator in Ipswich.

Dump backlash triggers talk of new Gympie opportunity

A GYMPIE councillor is urging the region to be the master of its own dump destiny amid a backlash against shifting rubbish to the southeast corner.

Ipswich residents have voiced their concerns about a $400 million incinerator proposal that would torch 500,000 tonnes of waste every year and generate enough power to light 50,000 homes.

Sending Gympie’s waste to Ipswich once the Bonnick Rd dump’s lifespan ends has been mooted by Gympie Regional Council.

RELATED

Bonnick Rd’s lifespan will run out in a few years.
Bonnick Rd’s lifespan will run out in a few years.

But there are now signs of a backlash against that being the catch-all solution for the state.

“The reputation of Ipswich is as the dump capital of Australia,” Ipswich Residents Against Toxic Environments president Jim Dodril told the ABC this week.

“We’ve had enough of that.

“We believe its time for other places to shoulder the burden and manage their own waste.”

Division 4 councillor Bruce Devereaux wants Gympie to put its hand up for the job, saying it was the two birds, one stone solution.

“(Our own waste to energy centre) would allow us to be in charge of our own rubbish,” Mr Devereaux said.

Bruce Devereaux wants the council to deal with the region’s rubbish itself rather than outsource the solution.
Bruce Devereaux wants the council to deal with the region’s rubbish itself rather than outsource the solution.

“The solution has to be more than landfill,” he said.

By shifting Gympie’s waste elsewhere, Mr Devereaux said the council was leaving itself at the mercy of other forces.

“We can pay someone else and hope they don’t put the prices up,” he said.

“I’d prefer to deal with it ourselves.”

Mayor Glen Hartwig said he was open to the idea, provided it was environmentally sound.

“If there’s environmental issues I don’t want to be part of it,” Mr Hartwig said.

However, Ipswich was still the solution for the time being given Bonnick Rd had only a few years left at most, he said.

Mayor Glen Hartwig says he would welcome a waste to energy facility if it is environmentally sound.
Mayor Glen Hartwig says he would welcome a waste to energy facility if it is environmentally sound.

“This council doesn’t have the volume to justify (the proposed super dump at) Toolara,” Mr Hartwig said.

Other councils would need to pitch in to help cover the cost of the super dump, which is expected to come with a $30 million price tag.

But Ipswich was not the only resort, either.

“There are other options,” Mr Hartwig said.

“We’ve got to evaluate what we want to do for the next 5-10 years.”