People power stops toxic incinerator in Western Sydney

The community in Western Sydney is celebrating the decision to reject a waste-to-energy incinerator at Eastern Creek.

The community in Western Sydney is celebrating the Independent Planning Commission’s (IPC) decision made on July 19 to dump The Next Generation’s application for a waste-to-energy incinerator at Eastern Creek that would have affected air quality throughout Sydney.

The IPC cancelled Dial a Dump Industries’ incinerator plan as “the project is not in the public interest because there is uncertainty around the project’s impacts on air quality, water quality and human health”.

A spokesperson for No Incinerator for Western Sydney said: “People power stopped this incinerator going ahead, and I am so proud of our community for standing up against a Liberal Party donor, such as Dial a Dump.”

On the same day in Blacktown Local Court, a magistrate fined Dial A Dump $23,300 plus $25,000 court costs for failing to cover asbestos waste with clean fill or soil (again), proving they should never have been considered for a development application of this magnitude in the first place.

The federal environmental minister Josh Frydenberg is still pushing for waste to energy incineration across Australia. He has already lobbied the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to have incineration given sustainable energy status.

Burning plastics, which are made from fossil fuels, is now considered green energy when burnt in an incinerator. The European Union has recently stopped all grants and rebates for incineration, making the industry financially unviable.

This battle is not over. Five waste to energy incinerators have already been approved in Western Australia. Another in Perth is being considered and one in Gippsland, Victoria. Who knows where the next incinerator development will pop up. Will it be next to your home? Or your children's school?

Incinerators are not in the public interest. The European Union is decommissioning its incinerators because they undermine recycling and the US is establishing zero waste advisory groups and closing incinerators as well. The industry has no social licence to operate and Australia will look foolish establishing this industry when the rest of the world is pursuing zero waste and a circular economy.

The only way to stop waste-to-energy incinerators popping up all over Australia is to be vigilant and get active. Community action and people power is what stopped the incinerator in Western Sydney.

[For more information about incineration go to the No Incinerator for Western Sydney Facebook page.]

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