Politicians, community on same page at latest Eastern Creek incinerator forum

Mulgoa MP Tanya Davies has revealed she raised her “serious concerns” about a proposed incinerator at Eastern Creek with Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

Speaking at a community forum on Thursday, Ms Davies said a representative from The Next Generation failed to address her questions about emissions from the plant during a meeting in December.

“I still do not have answers to those questions,” Ms Davies said. “From that point on I thought, ‘This is quite alarming’.”

Anti-incinerator campaigners left nothing to the imagination as the heat rose at the forum at Erskine Park Community Hall.

NSW Greens’ Jeremy Buckingham organised the event, which also featured addresses from Blacktown mayor Stephen Bali, the National Toxic Centre’s Jane Bremmer and campaign leaders Kerri Bradbury and Melinda Wilson.

“If you’ve never protested before, now is the time to start,” Ms Wilson said to a crowd of more than 100 people. 

“When elected officials won’t do it for you, it’s up to us as a community to stand up and say, ‘Enough’s enough’.”

An independent scientist would review the proposal before it was referred to the Planning and Assessment Commission, according to Ms Davies.

The project’s proponent, Ian Malouf, attended to gauge the reaction of the community: “We’re not going to hear anything new,” he said.

Mr Malouf bore the brunt of several slights on his record in the waste industry during the forum, in particular instances of fines he had received from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Ms Bremmer said should the proposal go ahead, residents would fall within its “sacrifice zone”.

If you’ve never protested before, now is the time to start. - Melinda Wilson

She said energy-from-waste plants took “scarce funds away from real renewable energy”.

“People talk about the number of energy-from-waste incinerators in Japan, and they do have a lot,” she said. “What they also do is produce about 40 per cent of the world’s dioxins and have the highest per centage of dioxins in their population’s blood streams.”

Mr Buckingham said his anti-incinerator campaign wasn’t intended to win votes in the west.

“We’ve already seen the EPA and and the local health district come out and say they’re opposed,” he said. “That should ring alarm bells. The way to stop this is to bring political pressure to bear.”

TOUGH CROWD: Proponent Ian Malouf (right) copped several jibes throughout the forum. Picture: Kim Vernon

TOUGH CROWD: Proponent Ian Malouf (right) copped several jibes throughout the forum. Picture: Kim Vernon

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