Monday, 26 October 2020
I want to draw to the attention of the House an article written by Michael Roddan of The Australian Financial Reviewthat indicated that the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority slapped Cleanaway, one of the largest waste management companies in Australia, with a raft of license conditions, show cause notices, warning letters and advisory letters after uncovering 'consistent areas of concern' following an inspection blitz of 26 of their sites in late June. The compliance blitz was triggered by two chemical spills at their sites that affected waterways. Some of the other findings included that workers had poor knowledge of site drainage systems and that pollution control equipment in some sites was 'questionable'. The Raffles Glade, Eastern Creek, in the Blacktown City Council area, was found to have debris in stormwater drains, numerous pools of liquid throughout the warehouse, bins designed to capture waste full and overflowing, hydraulic oil stored near stormwater drains and bulk containers damaged but holding liquid waste.
The reason I refer to these matters is that Cleanaway is a company seeking to build an energy-from-waste incinerator at Eastern Creek. Dial A Dump proposed a similar facility only a couple of years ago, prompting a thousand injections to be lodged with the state planning panel and a similar number of complaints and submissions lodged with the New South Wales upper house inquiry last year. I stood up in the chamber to object to Dial a Dump's incinerator proposal then and I stand up to object equally firmly to Cleanaway's proposal. It's a facility no-one in Western Sydney asked for and no-one wants. It's proposed to be located within a kilometre of homes, schools and sporting facilities with 500,000 tonnes of waste to be incinerated every single year within a stone's throw of local residents. According to figures obtained by Seven News, 150 trucks are to be used every single day to deliver waste.
We are not Sydney's dumping ground, and we certainly should not see this facility proceed. We urge the New South Wales government to reject the facility from being built. It's clear that people are upset about this. My neighbour, the member for McMahon, recently wrote to residents. He included a handy QR code that I'm told was very useful with helping residents register their objection with him. It's clear across numerous electorates that thousands of people do not want their backyards used as a dumping ground. This facility clearly is incompatible with this part of Western Sydney. What we need is high-quality infrastructure, high-quality support and a high quality of living for people living in Western Sydney.