Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 February 2021) . . Page.. 349 ..
introduces a ban on the development of new waste facilities and the expansion of existing waste facilities in Fyshwick.
The bill contains amendments to the Planning and Development Act 2007 to prevent the independent planning and land authority from accepting prohibited waste facility development applications and requires the authority to refuse any DAs for prohibited facilities which it has already received. The bill does not affect existing waste facilities in Fyshwick that do not wish to increase the size of their operations.
Given the features of the ACT’s leasehold and planning approvals system, the government has had to take the step of introducing legislation to ensure that development proposals for waste facilities in Fyshwick do not proceed. The ACT government has decided that large-scale waste facilities, including those processing red bin waste, are not suitable for operating in Fyshwick.
This ban will have the effect of preventing two current proposals for waste facilities in Fyshwick from proceeding. Capital Recycling Solutions had proposed to build a materials recovery facility on Ipswich Street, Fyshwick, to process household waste, handling up to 300,000 tonnes of waste per year. Hi-Quality Group had proposed developing an integrated resource recovery facility on Tennant Street, Fyshwick, to handle about 1.1 million tonnes of waste a year.
If they had been able to proceed, the CRS and Hi-Quality developments would be game changers for Fyshwick, and the government considers that waste facilities of this size are not appropriate for Fyshwick. By way of comparison, the Hi-Quality proposal would process 35 times more waste than the next largest existing waste business in Fyshwick, and the CRS proposal is for a facility processing 10 times more waste.
Given the scale of these proposals, there are various impacts to consider—including environmental impacts, impacts on amenity for surrounding businesses and their customers, the impacts on residents in nearby suburbs and traffic impacts—from the proposed facilities. The ACT government has closely scrutinised the outcomes of the environmental impact assessments of both proposals.
The government is also concerned about the potential for large-scale importation of waste from other jurisdictions for processing in the territory, which is in contravention of the proximity principle for waste management. While the legislation will have an immediate impact by stopping the known proposals from going ahead, it will also prevent future waste proposals in Fyshwick. However, the bill includes an ability to make regulations which will allow for the government to carve out sites, or classes of facilities, from the ban.
The ACT government is currently undertaking policy work, looking at planning and waste policy matters, to determine what types of waste facilities may be able to be established and operate in Fyshwick in the future. Following the outcomes of this policy work, I expect to be making regulations in the coming months which will provide certainty to small to medium waste operators about their future in Fyshwick. The policy work will also include looking more broadly at the waste infrastructure