ISCCC Alert and Call to Action on Massive Proposed Fyshwick Waste Facilities

The ISCCC and our member residents groups, in cooperation with the Fyshwick Business Association and other stakeholders, are organising a major campaign to respond to massive proposed waste facilities in Fyshwick that will be just hundreds of metres from residents’ homes and surrounded by businesses, with implications for their employees and customers.

We are concerned that the proposals pose major threats to human health, the environment, and the Fyshwick economy, the second biggest in the ACT, which employs 13,400 people.

Air quality has become a big issue since the 2019-20 bushfire crisis due to the impact of small smoke particles, which contributed to over 400 lives lost and about 3,400 hospitalisations across Australia. Hence air quality monitoring is very relevant in the context of these proposed waste facilities in Fyshwick.

We need your help to raise awareness about this issue. As we roll out our campaign, we will contact you again about a number of actions we are planning.

The proposed facilities stretch from Ipswich Street in the west (down the hill from Harvey Norman), across to Tennant Street in the east (next door to Domayne and around the corner from Bunnings) and include:

1. Proposed CRS waste facility, Ipswich St – processing 300,000 tonnes annually of residential and commercial waste (including smelly food waste) that normally goes to Mugga Lane landfill from Canberra and the surrounding region. Only 5% will be recycled/reused locally, 15% will be railed to Port Botany for export and 80% sent to Woodlawn landfill in NSW.

  • Status: The ACT Government recently accepted its Environment Impact Statement (EIS) despite over 440 objections and a report by the Government-commissioned consultant, ARUP that made a lot of criticisms of the EIS. The proponents now have the green light to lodge a Development Application. Read the Non-Technical summary in the Arup review of the EIS and other analysis at: https://www.isccc.org.au/expert-and-government-assessments-of-crs-waste-facility-impacts

2. Proposed fragmentiser (Lithgow Street) – shredding end-of-life vehicles and other metals. In other jurisdictions such as Queensland, best practice is for fragmentisers to be located more than 1500 m from dwellings and ‘sensitive uses’. Yet the Fyshwick fragmentiser would be just hundreds of metres from the homes of Old Narrabundah and Symonston residents, and next door to businesses.

  • Status: A Development Application has been lodged and is being assessed by planning officials.

3. Proposed Hi-Quality waste facility, Tennant Street – processing 1.1 million tonnes of waste per year, including toxic fly ash, asbestos, construction and demolition waste, commercial and industrial waste etc. The majority of the waste will come from interstate.

These facilities will be in addition to:

4. The existing Access Recycling facility, Lithgow Street – metal recycling: 8 fires since 2014.
5. Approved rail freight terminal, between Ipswich and Lithgow Streets – to be used to transport waste to Woodlawn landfill in NSW, and recyclables to Port Botany for export.
6. Existing Tiger Waste, Lithgow Street – construction and demolition waste etc.

The Government seems to be treating them as individual proposals, without looking at their combined impact or recognising that the scale of the facilities means that the majority of their feedstock will come from NSW, contravening the “proximity principle” that waste should be dealt with near its source.

The ISCCC has issued a media release recently calling for the ACT Government to:

  1. Establish an air quality monitoring station in Fyshwick.
  2. Consider the cumulative impact of current and proposed waste facilities in Fyshwick.
  3. Extend the amount of time provided for the community to comment on the expected Development Application by CRS from the standard 15 working days to 45 working days in view of the massive amount of documentation the community will need to absorb and respond to.
  4. Commit to change the ACT Territory Plan so that such major waste facilities are prohibited as a land use in Fyshwick

https://www.isccc.org.au/isccc/wp-content/uploads/Final-ISCCC-Media-Release-FyshwickWasteFacilities-7July2020.pdf

See the record of ISCCC’s online public forum, 26 May, for more background
The record of our 26 May public forum provides further background on the proposed waste facilities in Fyshwick. You may also be interested in the presentation on the findings of the ISCCC online survey of inner south residents, and draft ISCCC policy priorities to be discussed with candidates for the ACT elections.
https://www.isccc.org.au/record-online-isccc-public-forum-26-may-2020

Hold the date – 2020 ACT Election Candidates Forum 20 September 2020
If we don’t hear back from MLAs in relation to the Fyshwick waste facilities in the near future, residents will have the opportunity to quiz them and other candidates on this and other issues at the ISCCC’s Kurrajong candidates’ forum at 4-6pm on Sunday 20 September at the Harmonie-German Club in Narrabundah (subject to COVID-19 restrictions). Journalist Malcolm Farr has kindly agreed to be Master of Ceremonies. Stay tuned for further details.

Deakin and Yarralumla residents, whose suburbs are now in the Murrumbidgee electorate, can meet the Murrumbidgee candidates at the Woden Valley Community Council’s candidates’ forum at 7pm on Wednesday, 2 September, at the Southern Cross Club, 94-96 Corinna Street, Phillip.

We will touch base with you again soon with further updates.

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