A Sordid History
.....the Campbell Newman Queensland State Government and the Gold Coast City Council keep pressing for a green waste burner to be built within uncomfortably close proximity to new and existing residential estates. When Phoenix appealed, Council dnd not contest the appeal. Phoenix can now build their plant despite widespread community discontent and clear scientific evidence of harm to health. This also sets a dangerous precedent for more noxious firms to establish in Yatala far too close to large resiidential estates.
Is this proof that the Gold Coast City Council has a conflict of interest in the Phoenix development application?
“The proposal is taken to be of state and regional significance whereby the proposal presents the opportunity to redirect up to 250,000 square meters of green waste per year from land fill to this biomass plant to be recycled for the purposes of energy recovery....... The redirection of this volume of green waste will lesson the burden on landfill sites across the Gold Coast City and allow for the recovery of energy in the form of electricity. “
In an effort to help the community monitor and record inappropriate and dubious activities by commercial concerns in the Yatala Industrial Precinct the Yatala Residents Alliance set up a system to monitor air quality. The Community Watch system aims not just to identify and keep rogue industries in check, but also to keep public authorities that are tasked to control them more accountable. Eventually the plan is to extend the system to noise monitoring.
Community Watch is documenting a history of complaints that includes location, date and time, prevailing wind direction, odor description and what action was taken by authorities over what period of time. All complaints are forwarded on to local and state government bodies for action.
Background (view development application and other files)
Yatala and Ormeau residents (Yatala Residents Alliance), in partnership with the Ormeau Progress Association united to fight against the development of a Biomass Power Generation Plant at 126 Sandy Creek Road.
In 2010, Phoenix Power Recyclers submitted an application to the Gold Coast City Council for a Material Change of Use at their current Sandy Creek Road premises. The application if approved will allow the Phoenix plant to burn green waste in an incinerator 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, as fuel for a 7 Mega Watt Power Station. The incinerator will include a 30m high chimney that will emit gases and pollutants into the air. Read our Objection Report.
The local community believes that it does not have full support from the elected representatives at the various levels of government. A concerned working group under the YRA recently communicated its concerns and presented a 6000+ signature petition to the GCCC, State and Federal MPs and the Mayor of the Gold Coast.
All research on Biomass Plants to date contains disturbing information outlining a large range of serious health implications for people of all ages. In countries like USA and UK plants are being stopped because of the overwhelming reports by medical professionals of the evidence of pollutants infecting people in and around the areas of the chimneys. These including asthma, bronchitis, prostate cancer, potential harm to the unborn foetus with results of higher rates of disabilities in babies. Can we take this chance? Impact on us as residents will also be falling property prices due to the chimney. Who will compensate us for that?
The residents of Yatala, Ormeau, Norfolk, and surrounding areas are extremely concerned with 12 schools and 11 Child Care centres within 7kms of the proposed chimney plus sports fields, aged facilities and a special school. Fallout of the cane burning from Rocky Point reaches over 16 kms.
A report by the concurrency agency, DEHP (Department of Environment & Heritage Protection), came out in support of Phoenix. Because of pressure from the community the decision was temporarily put on hold and a lengthy delay ensued because Phoenix Power Recyclers were required to resubmit part of their application - where they had conveniently left out vital information including not taking into account the closeness of residential properties located next to the plant on Sandy Creek Road. No mention was made about nearby homes in Yatala, Norfolk, Ormeau or surrounding suburbs.
Needless to say DERM’s final report still gave Phoenix conditional approval. DERM were at pains to point out to the community that the final decision was up to Gold Coast City Council. Armed with a positive DERM report there can realistically be only one end result if the case goes to appeal. Couple that with the positive Council report and the Yatala community can already imagine how the system works.