The Fyshwick Business Association has turned the heat up on the ACT’s major parties, calling for clear policy positions opposing current and future waste proposals for the southside light industrial and retail precinct.
A month out from the official polling day and as submissions close for the draft Environmental Impact Study from Sydney-based Hi-Quality for its proposed multi-stream industrial waste facility in Tennant Street, association president Rob Evans said the parties should support the development of a master plan for Fyshwick.
He said the master plan should exclude the Hi-Quality and Capital Recycling Solutions proposals in Ipswich Street.
Mr Evans attacked Labor’s Chris Steel for his pre-election opposition to the CRS plant, and the wording he used to state Labor’s position, saying it left the door open to its development application still being approved.
He said the minister for environment and planning Mick Gentleman should declare that he would use his call-in powers if re-elected and still planning minister to reject the proposals.
”We’ve been fighting this for three years and at the 11th hour they’re coming out with a position. It’s not good enough,” he said.
”We don’t have confidence in the current planning process and don’t have confidence in the wording used by Mr Steel – that they’re going to look for options to oppose this.
”Well, there’s an option there and we’re asking them to use it.”
The ACT Greens have called for a moratorium on waste proposals in Fyshwick and a planning review, while the Liberals have said they do not support the CRS proposal in its current form.
Elizabeth Lee has also sponsored a Legislative Assembly petition calling on the government to reject present and future waste proposals in Fyshwick. It has gathered more than 1650 supporters, enough to force the Assembly to deal with the matter.
Mr Evans is hopeful the Liberals will provide a comprehensive policy position on Fyshwick during the campaign.
Region Media has asked for the party to state its position.
Mr Evans said the parties should commit to the development of a master plan for Fyshwick which excludes large-scale waste proposals that are no longer appropriate for a suburb with a changing commercial profile.
”Fyshwick has evolved on its own over the past 20 years and modernised over past 20 years,” he said.
Asked whether the campaign against the proposals would deter investment in Fyshwick, Mr Evans said what the precinct needed was planning clarity, as did the industrial suburb of Hume where waste facilities should be located.
”The action that deters investment is a lack of policy and planning,” he said. ”Businesses are within their rights to propose businesses such as these, and it should have been clear in the planning policies that Fyshwick is inappropriate for that type of scale.”
Mr Evans, who owns the neighbouring ALLBIDS online auction business, has been battling the CRS plans for three years, forming the association in the process and now leading the fight, along with inner south community groups, against large-scale waste processing in Fyshwick.
This also includes Access Recycling’s proposal for a fragmentiser to process car bodies.
The battle for Fyshwick centres on traffic impacts from increased truck movements and concerns about odour, air quality, contamination and fire risks.
Mr Evans said the Hi-Quality proposal, in particular, would result in more than 1400 vehicle movements a day, or more than 140 an hour, and cause chaos, especially at the choke point outside Bunnings.
He said that number of 19-metre long trucks coming and going was simply not compatible with other businesses in Fyshwick.
”Businesses can’t coexist with that scale of industry,” he said.
Both proponents say their traffic modelling suggest that the road system could cope with the increased movements and that mitigation strategies would deal with the other concerns.