Senate debates

Wednesday, 24 November 2021


Hume Electorate: Incinerator

1:56 pm

Photo of Deborah O'NeillDeborah O'Neill (NSW, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise today to speak on the proposed Veolia waste incinerator and in support of the locals who really don't want this toxic project approved in their community. Labor has firmly stated its opposition to dirty and polluting waste in terms of energy projects. This proposed incinerator would be a disaster for the local community. It's only five kilometres away from Tarago Public School, a school that's already suffering from an epidemic of lead pollution and contaminated drinking water. This is not too far from here. Currently in that town, there is no reticulated water; all water is collected from rainwater. Can you imagine, Mr Acting Deputy President Fawcett, the effects on water of a waste incinerator belching fumes into the air in the drinking water of that particular community?

Veolia are not on the community's side. In a petulant reaction to a council motion opposing the incinerator, Veolia decided to withdraw its previously promised $2.5 million grant for the local performing arts centre, currently under construction and which the council had already borrowed against. They're absolutely not dealing in good faith with the community, not only imposing their will without adequate protection for the health of the community but using their power to destabilise the local economy and walking away from a commitment to benefit those who are interested in the performing arts. This is an appalling type of corporate citizenship and a sign of just how little this company regards that local community.

To be clear: the community doesn't want this toxic project. I'm proud to stand with local Labor candidates Jason Shepherd and Anna Worth-Crawford against the waste-to-energy incinerator and for a clean and healthy Goulburn. If only the local member would stand up for the local community instead of spending his time here. (Time expired)