Clarence candidates’ strong opinions about an incinerator in Casino

We asked the eight candidates for the seat of Clarence a question. Five candidates answered. The question was:

Do you support a waste to energy facility, sometimes called an incinerator, for Casino? Give your reasons.

What is your personal opinion and what is the stance of your party on this topic?

We did not receive a response from Brett Duroux: Undeclared, Mark Rayner: Legalise Cannabis Australia or George Keller: Sustainable Australia Party.

Here’s what Leon Ankersmit: Labor, Greg Clancy: Greens, Debrah Novak: Independent, Nicki Levi: Independent and Richie Williamson: Nationals said about a waste to energy facility in Casino.

Debrah Novak, Independent

As an Independent I will always be informed by the collective voice of the community I represent.

The Clarence and Richmond Valley Councils strategic community plans both have already at the top of their list a clean healthy environment.

Scientific studies released last year on waste to energy incinerators clearly demonstrates this infrastructure will not only be harmful to the environment but to the entire primary industries sector on the Northern Rivers.

My position then is based on the above as it is not in the best interest of the seat of Clarence because of the impact on the primary industries and tourism.

Leon Ankersmit, Labor

There is community concern about waste to energy, particularly regarding potential emissions and that incinerators undermine the commitment to recycling and the development of a circular economy. In regional areas there is significant resentment that if it was good enough for Sydney to ban it why is it being dumped in regional NSW. There is a community campaign in the Richmond Valley (Clarence) against the proposal. Likely in response to this becoming an election issue, Richmond Valley Council has paused the process to review the Casino project until after the election.

I don’t believe a W2E facility is the best solution for Casino. I am concerned that Casino is an important food bowl including food for export, and this industry is at significant risk from toxins that may be emitted from an incinerator over a long period of time. If our air, water and soil quality end up compromised as a result of emissions, it may not be discovered until it is too late and be impossible to remediate this damage.

Greg Clancy, Greens

I have opposed the waste to energy incinerator from the day that I first heard it was being mooted.  I raised concerns at a Clarence Valley Council meeting in the past term of council.  I attended the on-site rally in December last year and attended the more recent meeting at the Casino RSM Club.  The Greens do not support waste incinerators anywhere in NSW.

Richie Williamson, Nationals

As there are no plans for an energy to waste facility in Casino it is very difficult to provide an informed response to this question, and to do so would be misleading in my opinion. 

I note RVC has resolved in 2022 NOT to proceed with a facility at Casino at this time. 

Nicki Levi, Independent

I do not now and never will support the burning of waste anywhere in NSW.

Clean air and clean water are fundamental needs in every community in the world.

I don’t know why anyone would vote for dirty air or dirty water in the electorate of Clarence.

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