Waste plan shapes future of waste reduction in Ipswich

20 June 2022

A 10-year road map detailing how council will deliver on the city’s vision for waste management and resource recovery has been set out and endorsed by the Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee.

Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Chair and Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said this an Implementation Plan outlines how council will deliver on its commitment to the Waste and Circular Economy Transformation Directive.

“Council is listening to the Ipswich community who are telling us that the issues being experienced in our community are no longer acceptable,” Mayor Harding said.

“Over the past five years, Ipswich has been the centre of much discussion on poor practice, lack of compliance and legacy decisions that have impacted our community.

“An Implementation Plan based on the 10 Directive principles has been developed to take make positive changes for the community, including reducing of all types of waste generation and increasing resource recovery through industry best practices, education, collaboration and planning.”

The Implementation Plan brings together several projects planned or currently being delivered throughout council including the Resource Recovery Strategy and Sustainability Strategy, updates to corporate procurement frameworks, compliance program improvements and other programs.

In addition to the Implementation Plan, council is also undertaking planning activities for improvements to existing council-run Transfer Stations and provision for new facilities in the future.

“This Implementation Plan provides a roadmap for council to lead by example and deliver best practice waste and resource recovery solutions in line with ratepayers’ expectations,” Mayor Harding said.

Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Deputy Chairperson Councillor Paul Tully said council has also been working with the Waste Recycling Industry Queensland to develop a waste industry Code of Practice.

“The adoption of the Waste Code of Practice is intended to build better relationships with the industry and in turn, create an improved outcome for the community,” Cr Tully said.

“Achieving greater compliance outcomes, with an industry that engages with the community will increase the opportunity for growth and achievement of mutual goals.

“We all generate waste, and we need a network of well managed and located facilities to deal with the volumes of waste coming from our households and our workplaces.

“The plan sets out how council will achieve change over the next 10 years and identifies the success measures of the Directive and support the State Government’s strategies for waste change.

“We also expect that our strategy and implantation plan will evolve over time to address this complex and rapidly changing challenge.”

Mayor Harding said that as part of the program of work, council is committed to taking further steps forward for the community to protect residential amenity.

“Council is planning to commence community engagement in early 2023 on the new planning scheme which will include policy mechanisms around waste and other industrial developments and their need to protect the community,” Mayor Harding said.

“Council is also awaiting direction from the courts on the outcomes of the three waste industry cases under appeal.

"In addition, the Wanless proposal is proceeding through the call-in process managed by the State Government, and is in public consultation at the moment.

“Importantly, the call-in is also subject to a judicial review, so a decision cannot be made on the call-in until this process is finalised.

“Council is in contact with Cleanaway regularly for status updates regarding current activities on site that has been creating a nuisance odour to seep across several Ipswich suburbs.

“Council has no jurisdiction regarding the management of the odour or current water issues on site and council urges the community to continue to report when they experience odour to the State Government’s Odour Abatement Task Force.”

Waste disposal issues in Ipswich are long-running with 42 per cent of Queensland’s waste disposed of in Ipswich.