Monday, April 22, 2024

Lithgow says State’s energy from waste plan stinks

Lithgow Council has voiced its opposition to a NSW Government energy from waste plan, saying it’s been completely blindsided by the proposal.

At a meeting on Monday, the Council resolved to oppose the plan.

Energy from waste involves the incineration of residue waste material, with some of the energy stored in the material being recovered for conversion to electricity. Residue waste is waste which is not able to be recycled. It is substantially paper, plastics and organic material. The vast majority of these residue wastes are created in major cities like Sydney.

The plan allows incineration as an alternative to landfilling.

The NSW Government’s Energy from Waste Infrastructure Plan proposes that these activities be effectively prohibited across NSW other than within the local government areas of Lithgow, Goulburn-Mulwaree, Parkes and Northern Rivers. The plan would rule out current proposals for these activities in metropolitan Sydney.

“We have been blindsided by this proposal. There has been no consultation with the council or our community,” said Mayor Ray Thompson.

“In a briefing after announcement of this plan, we were told that before January the NSW Government intends to exhibit for just 28 days a regulation that would approve this plan,” he said.

“We also heard that Sydney requires four of these facilities by 2040. Under this plan, they will surely be placed in Lithgow and Goulburn because of proximity to Sydney.

“Yet we have seen no modelling of the cumulative and long term health and environmental impacts.

“We don’t understand why or accept that these activities should be concentrated in Lithgow and yet not allowed in Sydney where the bulk of the waste is created.

“Communities oppose these developments for good reason. Even the government’s advice acknowledges that food production needs to be limited around these facilities and as technology improves the air emissions will need to be further restricted.”

Media announcements which accompanied the plan’s release suggested that these activities could create economic growth in the regions, the Mayor said.

But there was no accompanying information, or proposals from the NSW Government in relation to how these jobs could be assured, he said.

“When you look at this plan on the information that is available, we are burdened with activities that people in the cities don’t want in their backyards, and there is no apparent positive upside.”

“I know that the Council’s decision reflects the opinion of our community. This is a poor plan for Lithgow,” Mayor Thompson said.

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