Incinerator plan knocked back

Tara Murray

A bid to build a waste incinerator in Craigieburn has been rejected by Hume council.

Council officers declared the application by ENRGX to build a waste-to-energy plant on Amaroo Road failed to provide key information about how the facility would operate and its potential impacts on the community and environment.

Councillors agreed at the most recent planning meeting and voted against the proposal. Cr Jack Medcraft stood aside due to a conflict of interest.

More than 1300 residents signed a petition against the facility, 190 people submitted submissions and 24 people spoke against the proposal at the council meeting.

Under the proposal, approximately 1500 tonnes of household, construction and demolition waste would have been incinerated each day to produce up to 100 megawatts of electricity.

Mayor Carly Moore said the proposal had created more interest than any other issue in her time on council.

She vacated the mayor’s chair during meeting to move the motion to support the officers’ recommendation to refuse the permit.

“Council has serious concerns about this proposed facility,” Cr Moore said.

“The applicant provided very little information on how the plant would operate and what impact it will have on our community, including pollution and noise.

“The proposal would involve the emission of flue gases from the incineration process, which would generate ash residues from the bottom of the incinerator.

“Our community has every right to be concerned about a facility of this type being built in their own backyard when the potential impacts on their own health are unclear.”

No Toxic Incinerator for Hume organiser Katherine Lawford said residents were relieved the application was rejected.

She thanked everyone who had supported the group in getting the word out.

“It has been a very long stretch for us. No Toxic Incinerator for Hume first formed in 2019, and we’ve been very active and vocal in the community since then.

“From attending markets and getting signatures to doing media interviews, speaking to people on the street, in supermarkets and in carparks, to being active on social media and doing our best to make people aware of the issue.

“Ten councillors voted correctly to reject the application which is very pleasing to both volunteers and members of No Toxic Incinerator for Hume and the wider community.

“We hope all Victorians are happy.”

Ms Lawford said one of the most frustrating things had been that due to the building overlay, residents had no right to object to the proposal, which had made it an uphill battle.

Ms Lawford said they were unsure whether there would be another application made, but said she and the group would continue to fight against it and other such developments in the Hume municipality and wider community.

“They have a really large fight against them from the community, the businesses, the families and everybody concerned.

“We hope to never see an application for an incinerator exist ever again anywhere near residential homes, waterways, schools and childcare.”