Legistrative Council E-Petitions

E-petition Number
Proposed waste-to-energy facility at Lara
The Petition of certain citizens of the State of Victoria draws to the attention of the Legislative Council Planning Application 1004200 from Prospect Hill International for the construction and operation of a 400,000 tonne per annum waste-to-energy (WtE) facility at Lara in the City of Greater Geelong.

Despite a community conference organised by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), there are many unanswered questions, including —
(1) Where will the waste come from? Local councils have zero waste policies with plans to recover food, glass and other resources.
(2) Where is the social license for this project? Lara residents are still dealing with the aftermath of the last disastrous waste facility, which is costing taxpayers millions to clean up. They don't want the plant to become a massive stranded asset.
(3) How can this plant be a transitional waste solution when it will operate for more than 25 years? Incineration destroys the material forever, locking in an unsustainable linear approach and impeding innovative circular economy solutions.
(4) Why is there no front-end sorting of waste? It is unacceptable for council waste to be dumped directly into the hopper without removal of dangerous and toxic materials.
(5) Why is there no agreement with Powercor for energy off-take? Despite years of planning, Prospect Hill International has no agreement in place.

Waste to energy facilities using combustion and high temperature incineration should not be imposed on local government authorities like the City of Greater Geelong. The Government should ensure that thermal waste-to-energy facilities are only located within municipalities where there is a clearly demonstrated demand and suitable feedstock.
The petitioners therefore request that the Legislative Council call on the Government to ensure that Planning Application 1004200 from Prospect Hill International is not approved until community concerns are fully addressed, an Environmental Effects Statement is undertaken, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning finalises the waste-to-energy framework, all other recycling and waste diversion options are investigated and agreements are put in place with local authorities in relation to feedstock, water usage and energy offtake.
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