This week NMI and a retired Maroubra MD spoke to the EPA’s Manager of the Land & Resources Policy Group and a senior air quality expert who were instrumental in advising the NSW Government on the Energy from Waste Policy. The discussion was wide ranging, but the following is worth noting:
- The NSW EPA stated that WtE incinerators will only be a temporary measure to transition NSW to a Circular Economy (CE) as confirmed by recent legislation introduced into the NSW Parliament. NMI made it clear this is not possible because that once waste incineration is embedded in the economy it cannot be removed. Worse, it will expand exponentially killing off any CE industries that are developed to use any materials recovered from our current waste stream.
- NMI reiterated that the report commissioned by the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer was biased towards WtE and not independent. We stated that the primary duty of the NSW EPA was to protect the environment and health of NSW residents. The EPA had failed to do this because it should have questioned whether Sydney Uni’s report had examined all the alternatives and was truly independent.
- We reviewed the contour plot showing the harmful impact to the Sydney Basin if four WtE incinerators burnt 2.5Mtpa (million tonnes/annum) of dry waste. We put it to the EPA that if they allowed WtE incinerators to be built anywhere in the Sydney Basin the plot showed the impact and that they would be responsible.
- We confirmed that we had wide support from all three levels of Government, both the Bayside and Randwick LGAs, the groups in Western Sydney objecting to the WtE incinerators, and were consulting widely with residents.
In short, we pointed out that NSW was on a knife edge – on one hand we had WtE incineration with all of its well documented problems, and on the other hand the NSW Govt could drive a Circular Economy that would:
- Protect the health and the environment of NSW residents
- Reinvigorate the NSW manufacturing sector, creating 1000’s of skilled, permanent downstream jobs
- According to PwC, create a benefit to the NSW economy of $648 billion through to 2040.
We concluded the meeting by offering to meet with them again and provide further information as required. Attached are the documents we’ve provided to them:
Next Steps: NMI will be meeting with Matt Kean’s office on 28/10/21 to press for a complete ban on WtE incineration anywhere in NSW – please remember every objection to Ministers Kean and Stokes counts – see how to object here (takes 5mins)!!