Government announces independent investigation into interstate waste transportation
Published Tuesday, 15 August, 2017 at 07:15 PM
Premier and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
The Honourable Steven Miles
The Palaszczuk Government will establish a three month independent investigation into the transport of waste into Queensland.
The investigation is the result of a roundtable chaired by the Premier and Environment Minister Steven Miles which included waste and recycling industry representatives, the Local Government Association of Queensland, the Department of Premier and Cabinet and the Environment Department.
“I met with industry yesterday to discuss long term strategies to manage waste, and the investigation is an outcome of that meeting,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“I want to send a clear message to interstate waste generators and companies that Queensland is not a free for all.
“We need to better understand the actions of those who haul waste several hundred kilometres to Queensland, what responses we can make, and whether national action is required.
“This industry employs more than 6,000 people in Queensland and working on waste transfer and recycling within this state.
“Not only is interstate waste haulage unnecessary, it can be unsafe. We also need to question the potential cost to Queensland taxpayers and the environment.”
The scope of the investigation will include:
- Incentives for movement of waste from other states and how to prevent this from occurring
- Illegal practices and possible breaches of regulations
- Need for regulatory reform
- The role of other states and the Commonwealth.
Mr Miles said the Palaszczuk Government would continue its enforcement operations to stop illegal dumping in Queensland.
“The good operators want to see bad elements in their industry stamped out as much as we do and that’s why they’ve been working with us,” Mr Miles said.
“The waste industry in Queensland is a big industry and in most cases does the right thing and employs many Queenslanders.
“An independent investigation is the best way to bring those in the industry who think it is alright to treat Queensland as a cheap dump into line with community expectations."
Minister Miles said officers from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP), Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) and Queensland Police Service (QPS) had been conducting a joint operation since Thursday (10 August) to inspect heavy vehicles coming from NSW carrying waste.
“We have had officers on the ground blitzing interstate trucking to stop any waste transportation that is illegal,” Mr Miles said.
“With the assistance of TMR trucks are being stopped at sites along the border and checked for their full compliance with waste laws and regulations.
“Of the 49 waste trucks inspected by EHP, 31 came from interstate, which is 63 per cent – demonstrating a high level of interstate activity in south-east Queensland.
“Further compliance checks will be carried out this week in the Ipswich area as part of Operation TORA.”
An announcement on who will lead the investigation will be made in due course, with a report back to Government on the findings by mid-November.
Premier's Office Geoff Breusch 0417 272 875
Minister Miles' Office Katherine Wright 0422 580 342