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01 November 2012

Planning and Environment Court upholds Transpacific application for New Chum facility




A truck leaves the Transpacific site at New Chum, Ipswich.

The Planning and Environment Court has upheld an application by Transpacific for haulage limits at its New Chum waste facility.

Judge Robin ruled Ipswich City Council had no power to limit the amount of fill each year entering the site and that the State Government had control over how much waste was dumped.

A Transpacific spokesperson said the company was "committed to sustainable waste management practices and to being a valued member of the Ipswich community."

"The decision by the Planning & Environment Court confirms volumes currently accepted at Transpacific's New Chum site are in line with the Ipswich City Council (ICC) consent permit issued in 1999.

"The New Chum site abides by all DEHP requirements, with a considerable green buffer zone to the nearest residential areas. Transpacific is committed to the long term use and rehabilitation of the site, and will continue working closely with Ipswich City Council to ensure the best outcome for the local community."

The court said a proper reading of the original 1998 application would "leave the impression that the annual tonnages of waste brought to the site would not exceed 50,000" tonnes and the best the Ipswich City Council could now do is to "persuade the State authorities licensing the ERA that their brief extends to imposing conditions of the kind the council may think necessary to protect the public interest".

The dump site at New Chum was the scene of protests earlier this year against the company's operation.

Ipswich Planning and Development Chairperson Paul Tully described the court's decision as "extremely disappointing and a travesty of justice for the community".

"We have believed for 13 years the 1999 decision limited the amount of waste to 50,000 tonnes each year.

"Because of this decision, Transpacific has now been given the green light to have hundreds of heavy vehicles a day roaring up and down the Ipswich Motorway transporting waste to Ipswich from all over South East Queensland and northern New South Wales."

Cr Tully called on the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection to review its approval for Transpacific to dump more than 200,000 tonnes of waste each year.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said he was also extremely disappointed by the decision.

"Council will continue to work with the residents to come up with solutions," Cr Pisasale said.

"We intend to make representations to the State Government to explore every possible avenue to limit the amount of waste going into the Transpacific site.

"I also want to set up a community reference group comprising representatives from council and the company and local residents to resolve the issues that are important to the community."

Local councillor Victor Attwood demanded the State Government impose conditions on Transpacific which would limit the amount and type of waste going into the site as well the routes trucks can use to access the facility.

"They should regulate the number of vehicles a day entering the site to protect local residents," Cr Attwood said.

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