Yass Valley Council is formally against the proposed waste to energy plant in Tarago, a township about 120 kilometres from Yass but much closer as the crow flies and the potential smell travels.

On Saturday, November 6 CATTI (Communities Against The Tarago Incinerator) hosted a meeting with concerned residents, councillors and Goulburn MP Wendy Tuckerman to dis- cuss the waste incinerator proposal.

Wendy said on Saturday morning in Tarago she heard lots of questions about her stance on Waste to Energy and the Tarago Incinerator.

“Let it be known and clear: I do not want an incinerator anywhere in the Goulburn electorate,” she said.

“We will fight this.”

Yass Valley Council also stated their total opposition to waste incineration facilities in the Yass Valley LGA and neighbouring LGAs in a recent Council Meeting.

They said Council’s position is to ensure that environmental and public health outcomes are the number one priority.

Last month’s business paper said the Goulburn Mulwaree Council indicated that the emission plumes from a waste incinerator site in Tarago will impact the Yass Valley communities of Sutton, Gundaroo and residents residing to the east of Yass’ LGA.

The Tarago facility has been identified with other sites including the Parkes Special Activation Precinct, West Lithgow Precinct and the Richmond Valley Regional Jobs Precinct.

General Manager Chris Berry said Council is supporting Goulburn Mulwaree Council in taking a stand against the proposed waste to energy plant in Tarago.

“Despite this being out of our Local Government area, research has shown that the smell and toxins will affect the Yass Valley,” he said. “We believe the Minister for Environment should review this proposal closely before approving.”

The State Government has created policy for a permissible zone for this technology in Tarago. This state-wide plan was a result of existing waste infrastructure and economic strategy.

Wendy said it was a policy to ensure they would not be popping up across our region and it was not a deal done to save Bungonia and sacrifice Tarago.

“I believe there is no guarantees on human health and environmental impacts,” she said.” No matter how high the policy set emissions limits are for air quality.”

“It is very clear the Tarago community stance on this issue and I stand with them.”

“In a rural setting, abundant in food production I do not want an incinerator.”

“I look forward to taking these concerns to Minister Rob Stokes and Matt Kean next week in Parliament.”

Yass Valley Council’s formal resolution –

Council states its total opposition to waste incineration facilities in the Yass Valley Local Government Area and neighbouring Local Government Areas. Council’s position is to ensure that environmental and public health outcomes are the number one priority.

The State Government be requested to undertake an urgent review of the Energy from Waste Infrastructure Plan before any applications for specific Energy from Waste proposals are lodged or determined based on:

  • A robust evaluation of the technology used in any existing facilities in addressing any adverse impacts (especially emissions).
  • A cost benefit analysis of the best technology facility in comparison to other energy generating alternatives.
  • Identifying potential sites and evaluating their suitability based on the preferred technology.
  • Use of an Environmental Impact Assessment process to evaluate specific proposals and a merits-based review process for those aggrieved by the assessment outcomes.

The Minister for Environment and Local Member for Goulburn be advised of Council’s determination.

By Brianna O’Rourke

Photo: Wendy Tuckerman in middle, Goulburn Mulwaree Council Mayor Bob Kirk directly to the right of Wendy. Daniel Ciccarone on Wendy’s left (Daniel organised and chaired the meeting in conjunction with TADPAI). Adrian Ellson – President of Tarago and District Progress Association Inc. to the left of Daniel.