Temporary buffer zone set to become permanent in Ipswich

Ipswich City Council’s temporary local planning instrument (TLPI) is set to be permanently incorporated into council’s forthcoming planning scheme.

Due to expire next week, the Queensland Government has extended the TLPI for a further two years, during which time Ipswich City Council is expected to have a new planning scheme in place.

State Planning Minister Cameron Dick said extending the “waste protection” planning tool would provide certainty to the development industry and wider Ipswich community.

“The Queensland Government will work closely with the new Ipswich City Council to have the provisions incorporated into its updated planning scheme. This will give permanent effect to the waste protections we’ve put in place,” he said.

In 2018, the state government exercised its legislative powers to mandate a 750-metre buffer zone between existing, approved or planned residential areas and new and expanded waste facilities including landfill.

The decision came in the wake of an Austin BMI landfill proposal and Opposition parliamentary motion that the state government “call in” the application.

The proposal, which was met with some community opposition, would have seen a former disused coal mine at New Chum converted into a new landfill and waste transfer station.

According to Bundamba Member Elect Lance McCallum, extending the TLPI while council finalises its new planning scheme will ensure elements of council’s current planning scheme relating to waste activities remain suspended.

“The existing TLPIs are effective, so it’s vital we continue to regulate what can and cannot occur in these areas,” he said.

“I know how important the issue of waste management is to our community, which is why I got straight onto the Planning Minister this week to ensure existing protections were extended.”

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Queensland Government establishes #odourbusters taskforce

The Queensland Government has established a taskforce to deal with nuisance odours in the Swanbank area.

The Odour Abatement Taskforce, also known as #odourbusters, will operate from a local base at Redbank Plains to crack down on offensive odours and other environmental concerns in the area for the next 12 months.

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Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said the state government was investing 2.5 million in the program to respond to community concerns raised through an independent community survey this year.

“With the information received from 1435 local residents, we have moved swiftly to establish a taskforce of 10 specialist environmental officers,” Ms Enoch said.

“The team will be dedicated to investigating and responding to issues raised by the community.”

Ms Enoch said the community survey addressed waste management, air quality and water management issues within the Swanbank industrial area.

“Part of our response will be to introduce new technologies to monitor air, noise and water quality in Ipswich suburbs,” she said.

“In addition to on-the-ground investigations, the Odour Abatement Taskforce will intensively examine and review current industry regulation and practice.”

Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said the Queensland Government will have a strong focus on and interaction with the Swanbank industrial area.

“In the past year, the Department of Environment and Science has received 302 reports of odour from 167 people alleging bad smells from landfill and waste recycling facilities in the Swanbank industrial area,” she said.

“Rest assured, we have some of the highest environmental standards in the world and Queensland has a strong record when it comes to compliance.”

Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden said the Palaszczuk Government ensured there was always strong compliance when it comes to waste management issues.

“Over the last financial year, the state’s environmental regulator carried out more than 7250 compliance checks state-wide to ensure our high environmental standards are met,” he said.

“Of these, 855 compliance checks were conducted in the Ipswich area.

For more information on the #odourbusters, click here.

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