$220,000 investment to bust odour cheats

30 September 2020

The Palaszczuk Government is cracking down on odour in the Ipswich area with tough new environmental conditions and the latest technology.

Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said the Department of Environment and Science (DES) had moved to toughen Environmental Authorities (EAs) for some compost operators in the area.

“As the environmental regulator, DES is moving to amend the EAs of two composting operators,” Ms Enoch said.

“We’ve heard the voices of the community and our local MPs and we are taking action to ensure environmental conditions meet community expectations.”

Member for Bundamba Lance McCallum said the action was aimed at helping ensure composters stopped impacting nearby communities.

“We need tougher conditions and penalties for companies that are doing the wrong thing by the environment and the community," Mr McCallum said.

“We have been calling for stronger action and I’m glad to see it happening.

“In addition to tougher environmental conditions, DES has a number of a state-of-the-art drones that can be used for a range of activities including one that can undertake thermal imaging. Separately a trail was conducted using a drone to sample air-borne particles.

“We are going to use the latest technology to catch and punish odour cheats.”

Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said the government had also invested in Envirosuite, an online system to help staff analyse real-time, historical and predictive environmental and operational weather data at a local level.

“Our government has heard the concerns of residents and we are using every tool at our disposal to address the odour problem,” Ms Howard said.

“Terrible odours often depend heavily on specific weather conditions. Envirosuite technology means DES can better take action on problematic sources of odorous emissions, as well as understand complex weather conditions that exacerbate the smell.

“This new technology means environmental officers can better predict when and where odours may occur and readily assess and trace them.”

Ms Howard said proposed changes to the composters’ environmental conditions related to the kind of feedstock the companies were allowed to receive.

“The department is considering amendments to restrict the receipt of high odour feedstocks at these facilities unless advanced odour control infrastructure is installed,” Ms Howard said.

"These new commitments build on the existing work of the Odour Abatement Taskforce’s dedicated officers, field equipment and monitoring equipment in the Ripley and Swanbank areas."