We asked the 18 Richmond Valley Council candidates a question about waste and the proposal for a waste-to-energy facility in Casino.
At the end of the answers, there is a link to an IndyNR.com article about the proposed incinerator and why some people were objecting to it.
Also, there is a link to the NSW Government’s Energy from Waste policy document.
Research the topic for yourself and read what your potential future councillors think.
We asked all candidates:
State your position regarding the waste-to-energy incinerator in Casino? What should we be doing on the waste issue?
Robert Mustow: There is no proposed Energy from Waste facility planned for Casino. If this was to happen an Environmental Impact Statement and rigorous public consultation would occur. Until then I cannot make a scientific, informed decision. Landfills are an unacceptable practice. The recently released North Coast Waste Investment Report also identified this. We need to investigate all options in this report.
Jill Lyons: I have serious concerns about the very real threats of this toxic industry to our primary production and our agriculture exports. The risks to the health of our lands, waterways, to our people and our children is too high. I would like to see us work towards a circular economy where Zero Waste is a priority.
Sandra Humphrys: I have a genuine interest in this issue. Council has been seeking solutions (a strategy tabled mid 2020). It is important to keep an open mind on options available. Construction of a $10mil landfill cell at Nammoona will allow time to explore solutions which are environmentally, economically and socially acceptable for our community. Continuing to bury and transport our waste to Queensland needs to stop.
Jacob Dhnaram: I am strongly against the incinerator. There are many health risk factors that come along with it and it’s not sustainable for job creation. We need to put our focus into finding a valuable solution to waste reduction that will employ many for years to come. If it’s not safe for Sydney then it’s not safe anywhere.
Robert Hayes: The NSW government’s energy from waste infrastructure plan will regulate this proposed industry. This plan has been reviewed to ensure that any proposals adopt international best practice standards and controls to protect human health and the environment. I would be making sure that the science is proven and acceptable prior to making any decisions that come council’s way.
Ted Hoddinott: I vehemently oppose the proposed waste-to-energy incinerator in Casino or anywhere in Australia. Not only does it pose a toxic environmental threat to the community of Casino, but also poses an economic threat to the livestock, horticulture and broadacre crop industries in the Richmond Valley. We need to protect our natural environment as an obligation to future generations.
Trudy Lamont: Energy from Waste is an emerging technology in Australia. Much more information in respect of potential health risks is needed before this project should be considered. What are the other alternatives to landfill disposal? Council should consider all available options on their merits, not just the EfW incinerator project – in consultation with the community.
Peter Nielsen: The most modern waste-to-energy technologies available today fail to control toxic emissions and don’t meet the EPA’s air pollution standards. It’s a serious threat to community and existing industries who depend on uncontaminated air, water and lands. Sydney, Lithgow and Goulburn councils have rejected this, citing health and pollution concerns.
Portia Walker: Due to the lack of information of how the incinerator would function, I’m not in favour of an incinerator being placed near our communities. We need further health and environmental studies and evidence-based studies prior to changing my mind. I believe the word incinerator may be misleading. I’d have to wait until looking at a proposal and consult with community prior to committing to any decisions.
Michele Yates: Is it actually a waste-to-energy that’s safe for the people and land within RVC? I will always push for recycling and clean green options. I believe we have a responsibility to find opportunities with long term benefits to people and the land on which we live.
Robyn Kapeen: I oppose the proposal of a mega incinerator. Just imagine what effects a mega incinerator’s air pollution could do to the air we breathe in terms of toxicity. The focus must be on a better collection and resources separation as well as getting the toxics out of the products. Zero waste and circular economy sectors for the waste incineration sector.
Neale Genge: We can’t just keep burying waste and if there is another way to utilise waste that is more productive, then it should be explored. From a very young age I knew that burning plastics is not good for you or the environment. So how could burning waste on a mega scale be a good thing?
Patrick Deegan: I am opposed to this proposal and our focus should be on recycling and waste reduction, creating local jobs. A similar proposal in Sydney was rejected due to health concerns and the NSW Chief Scientist has stated waste to energy should not be located near food manufacturing. The risk to the health of residents and the agricultural industry is simply unacceptable for our community.
Daniel Simpson: An EFW facility taking only the streams of garbage that cannot be recycled or repurposed and using this as fuel to generate electricity, on the surface sounds a better alternative to our current waste treatment. I support further investigation of the facility providing it does not take away from moves to recycle and repurpose waste and improves our current waste related environmental outcomes.
Read the State Government Energy from Waste report here – opens in new tab