Veolia is pushing ahead with its proposal for an industrial waste incinerator in Tarago, despite environmental concerns and objections from Tarago and Canberra residents. An Environmental Impact Statement is open for public comment until 6 December.
“The ACT Greens have long opposed thermal incineration. It is just too risky for health and the environment,” said Jo Clay MLA, ACT Greens spokesperson for the Circular Economy.
“Incinerators have a long history of polluting our air and water. Testing is always a concern. Burning waste is also a waste of resources. Australia shouldn’t be building new incinerators.”
“I was delighted when the ACT Government banned incinerators in the ACT in 2020 after years of lobbying. We would not allow this kind of facility within our borders. I do not want to see one just across our border.”
“I sponsored a community petition opposing the Tarago incinerator. 919 Canberra residents signed it. Residents in Tarago are even more concerned. Communities Against the Tarago Incinerator demonstrates predicted air pollution on their website using modelling developed by the US EPA. Their modelling predicts pollution from the incinerator could reach Canberra, Queanbeyan, Yass and the whole region.
“The ACT Greens oppose this incinerator. I released our Greens’ Vision for a Circular Economy in August. A genuine Circular Economy means we should think about what we need and come up with a sustainable way of meeting those needs. Incineration is not part of that story.
Anyone with concerns can find out more from Communities Against the Tarago Incinerator.
Quote attributable to Fiona Jeffery, Vice President of Communities Against the Tarago Incinerator:
“Despite being greenwashed as 'renewable energy', incinerating waste is the same as burning fossil fuels and poses an unacceptable level of risk to the health, environment and food chain of surrounding communities. Incinerators are incompatible with a circular economy - they reduce recycling rates and simply replace waste with greenhouse gases, air pollution and contaminated ash. The NSW Government must protect the health and environment of this region and reject the proposal for a waste incinerator in Tarago.
Quote attribute to Chris Carpenter, Director/Winemaker at Lark Hill Biodynamic Winery:
"The 2019/2020 bushfire season blanketed the Canberra District Vineyards and Wineries in bushfire smoke, which tainted the grapes and destroyed our crop. Losing a full year's crop like this was an unimaginable heartbreak, and has given all grapegrowers in our region a focus on air quality that we previously took for granted. Canberra produces some of the highest quality wines in Australia, with an enviable track record nationally and internationally. Placing a waste incinerator in a grape-growing area is akin to allowing a smoking area in a restaurant - out of sight does not mean there is nobody harmed.
- Previous ACT Greens media releases on ruling out incineration waste in the ACT in 2020 here, the ACT Green’s 2017 plans for a ‘Sustainable Zero Waste Future’ here and the ACT Green’s 2022 vision for a circular economy here. The ACT Legislative Assembly petition is here.
- ACT Government 2020 policy banning incineration within the ACT is here.
- Communities Against the Tarago Incinerator: www.NoTaragoIncinerator.com