Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch MP has updated Queensland Parliament on the work of the Odour Abatement Taskforce in Ipswich.
In a petition response tabled today the Minister said that the Taskforce, which was established in 2018, had received over 5,200 community reports, resulting in fines of over $100,000 for offences under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EP Act).
“I know this is an important issue for the Ipswich community,” Ms Enoch said.
“When Lance McCallum was elected as the Member for Bundamba, this was one of the very first issues he raised with me.
“The Taskforce has specialist environmental officers, dedicated to investigating and responding to issues raised by the community, especially in relation to odour and other environmental nuisance coming from the Swanbank Industrial Area.
“It’s concerning that fines have to be issued. What we need to see is companies doing the right thing by the environment and the community,” Ms Enoch said.
Member for Bundamba Lance McCallum said locals expect the government to work hard to address odour concerns and he would advocate for strong action.
“I’m pleased to see that penalty infringement notices and formal warnings are being issued by the Department of Environment and Science,” Mr McCallum said.
“That’s the sort of strong compliance action our community expects, in order to respond to this problem.
“The Department will also increase its social media presence to keep the community informed of Taskforce activities and compliance outcomes.
“I urge people to report any instances of odour in our community to the Taskforce immediately by calling 1300 130 372 or emailing [email protected]
“We all need work together to ensure that companies are doing the right thing,” he said.
The Department of Environment and Science operates a compliance program that includes both proactive and reactive compliance activities. As part of undertaking these activities, all relevant enforcement options under the EP Act are considered when determining an appropriate enforcement response.
The Taskforce has five objectives:
- Intensively examine and review current industry regulation and practice
- Review environmental authority conditions against contemporary standards
- Proactively engage with industry stakeholders to encourage better proactive
- Provide additional on-ground presence and proactive engagement with local
- Introduce new technologies to monitor air, noise and water quality.