Here is the logic:
The biomass burner intends to burn “green” waste (ridiculous but true)
The totally illogical notion is instead of mulching and recycling lets just burn it.
Ask the question - where will the “green waste” come from? (loads and loads of green rubbish?)
Who has a ready source of green waste? (the local rubbish tip?)
Here comes the kicker:
The Council is taxed on the amount of green fill that is buried in it’s rubbish tips.
Fact ....... by allowing a biomass burner in Yatala the Council (and State Government) has reckoned there is MONEY to be saved. Decrease the amount of green waste going into the ground and pay less tax. The Council even has a contract with Phoenix to burn some of its current green waste.
To heck with the health of local residents.
Little concern about toxic output.
This is simply about a benefit to Council and a show piece for State Government.
The Council (and Queensland state government) should come clean and admit duplicity.
2. Few attempts to effectively POLICE development restrictions
1. A Conflict of interest?
"Extensive lists of conditions make for impressive press releases from politicians approving projects. Interestingly, though, that companies have not complained about the conditions, largely because they know governments rarely enforce them. " Paul Cleary Weekend Australian, 12 Aug 2012.
This statement is certainly justified when you look at the history of questionable developments in our area.
If it looks like there will be a community outcry about an unpalatable development (like a quarry or a biomass burner) the Council (and the local councilor) will trumpet publicly that they have no power to stop it BUT they can slap major restrictions on the operation and this should allay community fears.
Question - who polices the restrictions once the development gets under way?
Answer - certainly not the Council (usually understaffed, badly resourced or no interest). Certainly not the developer (why should they when it affects their bottom line?). And based on local experience not the state or federal government - when was the last time you actually witnessed the government take a proactive stance against a development unless there was a major community outcry.
Who then has ultimate responsibility to police the restrictions placed on developments and developers?
Simple answer? YOU!!!
But unfortunately there is a kicker. If YOU can show that the developer has transgressed (difficult because access to the plant is never given willingly) then YOU have to spend time and energy documenting proof and trying to push this information under the noses of the authorities. Trying to identify who the appropriate people are and where to find the appropriate documents and fill them in correctly and then get them to the right person in a complex government departmental system is a difficult task in itself. Trying to work out which specific restrictions apply is almost impossible, and, grappling with the rules of engagement (usually requiring very copious and detailed notes plus lots of phone calls), is a real nightmare. After months of wasted time being pushed from one person to another in government and finding that any information provided to them is questioned, most people simply give up. Just ask those that have tried. Most do it once or twice and then give up. Not surprising.
SO..... why the facade by Council and government? Why have rules and regulations when there is little or no inclination to police them.
A local example
Boral have been caught red handed illegally changing the course of a state resource (Pimpama River) without permission, yet neither the local or the state government appear to be concerned and neither appears to want to do anything about this. In fact both have sided with the quarry company and will not support the community. No wonder the community believes that both the Council and the State Government are on the side of large multinational mining companies like Boral. Boral were supposed to self assess and comply with controls/restrictions set on them over the last 15 years yet they were able to act as they wished behind their fenced quarry (away from prying public eyes). The effects on the Pimpama River are now visible for all to see with regular mass fish kills at the head of the river where it enters Moreton Bay. Unbelievably Boral, even today, continues to contravene its legal obligations with total impunity. And the governments appear to do nothing except try to "discuss" the issue.
It stands to reason that if the biomass burner gets the go ahead, any restrictions put forward will not be worth the paper they are written on.
How will we know what ingredients the Phoenix biomass burner will be burning?
Should we blithely trust Phoenix to simply burn green waste? (whatever that means).
How can we guarantee that Phoenix will do the right thing by the community?
How transparent will the toxicity/output reporting process of the biomass burner be?
Why are measuring devices only being tested for noxious output once every month instead of daily? If the output from the plant is so benign then why the secrecy and why not monitor as often as possible?
Will the public be given free access to measuring device information that DEHP says will be required to be put into place?
2 Reasons why the Phoenix development needs to be exposed.