With the passing of the NSW EPA’s Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Amendment (Thermal Energy from Waste) Regulation on Friday, residents of SE Sydney can now breathe easier.
The amendments now form part of the Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulation 2021 and will prohibit Veolia’s (formerly Suez’s) proposal to burn waste at OPAL’s Matraville Paper Mill.
Last night, the local community who have waged war against Veolia ever since the proposal to build a waste incinerator at OPAL’s Matraville Paper Mill was first raised in 2019, learned that the proposal would not proceed.
The community wasn’t swayed by the promise of extra jobs or the supposed economic benefits given their concerns about the significant detrimental impacts of the proposal. Some residents had even contemplated selling up and moving away from the area.
Residents were fully supported in their campaign by both Federal and State MPs and Randwick and Bayside Councils who unanimously opposed any incineration of waste due to the potential harmful impacts on the health of surrounding communities and the degradation of the environment.
The burning of “non-recyclable waste” to produce power or replacing a cleaner fuel e.g. natural gas with a dirtier one, will no longer be possible and the prohibition of Veolia’s incinerator is a great step forward for local communities.
While this is fantastic news for our local community, the new laws don’t preclude incinerators being built elsewhere. So, we will continue supporting communities fighting waste incinerators being built in their areas because the incineration of waste is a bad idea, period.
We now hope the newly elected Federal Labor Government will end the various subsidies to projects associated with the incineration of waste. We also need the NSW Government to follow through with its promises to promote a Circular Economy rather than promoting the incineration of waste as the only option.
And a big thank you to all our supporters – our Randwick and Bayside Councillors, residents and businesses who have done all the work and provided their expertise to help us get the message out. From all of us at No More Incinerators – thank you.
No More Incinerators Inc