Joint Statement on stronger regulation of composting facilities

09 May 2024

The Members for Bundamba, Jordan, and Ipswich have welcomed the start of public consultation on proposed new, stronger regulations which would require composting facilities to minimise odour impacts on local communities.

The proposed new regulations would enable the regulator to require composting facilities close to residential zones to use in-vessel or enclosed processing for highly odorous wastes.

While proposed changes would apply statewide, they particularly respond to the odour issues impacting the Ipswich community. 

Member for Bundamba Lance McCallum said the proposed new regulations were a direct result of advocacy by local Labor MPs on behalf of the community.

"I believe companies doing the wrong thing should be brought to account, and these proposed new regulations will force them to clean up their act – it’s a major win for our community," Mr McCallum said.

"Too many local families and households have suffered the environmental impacts of a few waste operators, and composters in particular who have burnt their social licence.

"The new Miles Labor Government is delivering this important proposed regulation for our community to give the regulator the power to require all existing organics facilities who receive high risk feedstocks near residential areas to transition to fully-enclosed facilities."

Member for Jordan Charis Mullen said the proposed regulations would also ensure interstate transporters of highly odorous materials only take this waste to sites which meet the requirements.

“The Miles Government is giving the independent environmental regulator the tools it needs to tackle odour issues impacting communities like ours,” Ms Mullen said.

“Local composting businesses, who have been identified as the most likely source of the odours impacting our community, are not fully-enclosed and, clearly, this needs to change.

“Members of the Ipswich community can have their say on the proposed changes by visiting the Department of Environment, Science and Innovation website.”

Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said the Miles Government had also fact-tracked parliamentary debate on enhancements to Queensland environmental protection laws to deal with odour nuisance.

“Ipswich Labor MPs successfully lobbied the Minister to bring forward debate on the Environmental Protection (Powers and Penalties) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2024, which finalises the Government’s response to the recommendations of the independent review of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 led by retired Judge Richard Jones and Barrister Susan Hedge,” Ms Howard said.

“Ipswich Labor MPs lobbied the government to commission the Jones and Hedge Review after flooding in 2022 exacerbated odour issues coming from waste facilities.

“We will continue to listen to our community and lobby the Minister to make businesses responsible for the odours they are creating, and work to reduce them.”