Western Sydney residents can breathe a little easier today after the NSW Government ruled out plans to establish two waste-to-energy power stations, at Eastern Creek and Blacktown.
“This is great news for the community that has fought so hard to stop this proposal going ahead,” Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said.
“Waste-to-energy incinerators should not be built in densely populated areas like Western Sydney where air quality frequently dips below healthy standards.
“The region already carries a significant health burden from poor air quality and that is set to worsen when Western Sydney Airport opens.
“The last thing the people of this region needed was two waste incinerators.
“We applauded Environment Minister Matt Kean and Deputy Premier John Barilaro for bowing to public pressure and common sense.
“We have to do much more to eliminate material from the waste stream by ramping up recycling and not sending it to landfills or incinerators.
“At the moment, only a fraction of all plastics are recycled, so there is a lot we can do in that regard.”
The government has identified West Lithgow Precinct, Parkes Special Activation Precinct, Richmond Valley Regional Jobs Precinct and Southern Goulburn-Mulwaree Precinct as priority locations to host waste-to-energy power stations.
“Sydney should not merely export its environmental problems to the regions,” Mr Gambian said.
“We believe that incineration is environmentally harmful and unsustainable. But if the government is going to proceed this way, these facilities must conform to world’s best practice,” Mr Gambian said.
“Sydney should not merely export its environmental problems to the regions.
“That means whatever facilities are built in the regions must operate to the highest environmental standards to ensure harmful chemicals and by-products are eliminated as much as possible during incineration.”