Government vows to block Fyshwick waste proposal as standoff continues

Ian Bushnell 17 November 2020 4
Transport and City Services Minister Chris Steel

Transport and City Services Minister Chris Steel: ”We are looking at the zoning in Fyshwick, whether those sites and types of development and uses are appropriate.” Photo: File.

The ACT Government has confirmed it will do all it can to block the Fyshwick waste proposal in Ipswich Street but is awaiting advice on how it will proceed.

The proponent, Capital Recycling Solutions, has written twice to both Planning Minister Mick Gentleman and Transport and City Services Minister Chris Steel seeking clarity before it spends $70,000 officially lodging its submitted development application.

But Mr Steel says the government will not be responding until it secures its advice.

CRS director Adam Perry said the company was willing to negotiate with the government, even about changing the use for the site adjacent the rail line, but it was being left in limbo.

”Regardless of whether or not you like the project, the process is terrible,” he said.

Mr Perry remains perplexed at the government’s mixed signals during the four-year history of the proposal, saying the pre-election announcement that Labor would oppose the proposal and preferred all waste facilities to be co-located in Hume was clearly political.

”Why didn’t they tell us that four years ago?”

In a statement, the government said it was currently seeking advice on the best way to ensure resource recovery facilities were located in Hume, as outlined in the ACT’s Waste Management Strategy.

It was also looking at the use of industrial zones in the ACT through the current planning review.

”The ACT Government has already put a moratorium on Waste to Energy as a result of community consultation, stopping the burning of rubbish and supporting higher-order recycling. We will not support processing red bin waste in Fyshwick, which is a core element of the CRS proposal,” a spokesperson said.

Capital Recycling Solutions proposed operation

A render of Capital Recycling Solutions’ Ipswich Street site showing the rail terminal and the MRF. Image: CRS.

Mr Steel told Region Media that the government was basing its decisions on the Waste Management Strategy, above the Waste Feasibility Study that followed it, and would meet its election commitments.

”We are looking at the zoning in Fyshwick, whether those sites and types of development and uses are appropriate given the changing nature of the suburb, and consistent with the Waste Management Strategy, actually having those in Hume would be a far better location,” he said.

”The Waste Management Strategy came before the Feasibility Study and the Strategy was clear that resource recovery centres should be in Hume.”

When pressed about how the CRS proposal has progressed right up to DA stage, Mr Steel said there was nothing to stop proponents putting up their plans.

”Whether it is consistent or not is something the planning authority will have to have a look at,” he said.

Mr Steel said just because an Environmental Impact Statement had been accepted did not mean the whole project had been ticked.

He said there were a whole range of other matters that had to be addressed, such as traffic, which remained a concern for the Hi-Quality building and commercial waste proposal in Tennant Street.

But he confirmed that CRS would not have access to household garbage in any waste operation on Ipswich Street.

”They wanted to sort that rubbish and recover a small amount of resources from it. We won’t give them that waste stream,” he said.

CRS has already spent millions of dollars leading up to the DA, and Mr Perry has said the government’s actions were bad for business and would deter investment.

The situation may well end up being resolved in the courts.


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4 Responses to Government vows to block Fyshwick waste proposal as standoff continues
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simm simm 8:24 pm 19 Nov 20

Mr Perry remains perplexed at the government’s preferred waste facilities to be co-located in Hume . ”Why didn’t they tell us that four years ago?”

The ACT Government certainly did …In 2017 there was a market callout to players in the Waste Industry, a “Market Sounding” and was part of the Waste Feasibility Study and the ACT Waste Management Strategy , raised by Minister Steel and is in force from the earlier 2011 to 2025

FOI documents,

Page 16 of the Market Sounding document identifies Hume to be the location for recycling/resource recovery facilities with land blocks identified.

Of the 32 respondent companies listed – CRS is not listed.
The other 32 that did were to have priority over proponents who did not enter submissions …being deemed “unsolicited.”

thoughtsonthesubject thoughtsonthesubject 7:44 pm 19 Nov 20

Mr. Perry, who previously has claimed to have taken part in the 2017 Transport Canberra and City Services Market Sounding to waste industry proponents, would be aware that page 16 of the document identifies Hume to be the location for recycling/resource recovery facilities. Respondents were to have priority over proponents who did not enter and whose proposals were considered unsolicited. Of the 32 companies listed in Freedom of Information documents, CRS is not named, yet the associated Benedict Industries submitted a proposal for “Advanced waste management for the ACT” whatever that means. The Market Sounding was part of the Waste Feasibility Study and the ACT Waste Management Strategy raised by Minister Steel is in force from the earlier 2011 to 2025. Simply because a use is allowable in the zoning of the Territory Plan does not mean it is suitable development for a site when all factors and impacts are taken into account. High Quality Group now competing for what would appear the same construction waste, is evidence that investment has not been deterred, which puts paid to Mr. Perry’s penultimate comment. It appears in his perplexed state, it may be Mr. Perry’s signals that are mixed.

ACT resident ACT resident 6:24 pm 19 Nov 20

ACT planning law requires that ACTPLA must assess whatever proposal is lodged. This proponent is now whinging about delay caused by the complexity of his proposed waste hub to redirect landfill from Mugga to inner south Fyshwick and then on to Woodlawn landfill. There is no apparent concern for local property devaluation or future congestion in Fyshwick or the nature of the current regeneration of the suburb. Labelled “recycling,” construction waste can legally truck from Sydney as already occurring at Pialligo. Hence the retention of the 300,000tpa of waste. Forget the stinking red bin waste, we don’t want a changed use to be a Processed Engineered Fuel factory in Fyshwick either. The process is correct. Planning refusal is a risk any developer takes. No taxpayer funded compensation necessary here.

chewy14 chewy14 4:40 pm 17 Nov 20

Ah, the ACT government, the incompetent gift that never delivers.

What are the odds this ends up with a taxpayer funded compensation payout to the proponents because of the government’s inability to do their jobs.

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