Rockhampton Regional Council is facing the dilemma of where to dump its refuse.
Rockhampton Regional Council is facing the dilemma of where to dump its refuse. File

Landfill legitimacy debated

BRETT Svendsen has told his colleagues they should be listening to what the community wants – and they don’t want a new landfill.

In a lively council debate this week about the viability of alternative methods of disposing of the region’s rubbish, Cr Svendsen said he was convinced it would be a backward step to bury it.

“People don’t want a landfill,” he said, reporting he had spoken to people from all walks of life and political persuasions who were well informed about the issue.

“I think we need to start looking forwards rather than backwards. We have an opportunity to change and we need to do it.”

Councillors were discussing a report that concluded it would be too costly to adopt alternative waste technologies at this time because no system would eradicate the need to bury some waste.

But Cr Glenda Mather was also advocating a more modern solution.

“We need to explore,” she said, adding council should be chasing state and federal governments for financial support.

Craig Dunglison, the council’s strategic manager of waste services, who compiled the report, reiterated landfill was the lowest-cost option.

Cr Cherie Rutherford wondered if it was feasible to offer neighbouring authorities the chance to send their waste.

“Maybe if we set up first we can make this work,” she said.

But Mr Dunglison said Gladstone had about 100 years of landfill space remaining and Mackay had just established a new landfill, so it was an unlikely scenario unless routes could be established from further afield.

Mayor Brad Carter said he believed the only alternative to not creating a new landfill in the region was “carting our rubbish into someone else’s backyard”.

Council has identified a site at Hedlow, between Rockhampton and Yeppoon, as its preferred site for a landfill.



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