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Minister Must Act on Industrial Waste

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 15 June 2023

Tags: Waste, Environment, Environment Protection Authority, River Health

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson

Tasmania’s approach to disposing of industrial waste is entirely unsustainable and directly resulting in environmental damage, especially to waterways. Environment Minister Roger Jaensch needs to step in to ensure the big corporations producing this waste are brought under control.

As reported by the ABC, the issue of industrial waste has reached a critical point for Tasmania. The EPA reports the volume of industrial waste being produced has grown significantly, but the capacity of two main treating sites has topped out. This is a huge issue.

It’s unacceptable that disposal sites are blatantly breaking the EPA’s rules, and do this in the knowledge they won’t be forced to stop operating because there’s nowhere else for the waste to go. 

This is a serious situation that’s causing environmental harm, polluting waterways, affecting local communities, and potentially impacting on primary producers. Natural systems have limits, and we can’t go on like this.

Tasmania has large multinational corporations that produce growing volumes of waste, but there’s no effort by the government to reverse this trend. That has to change.

Environment Minister Roger Jaensch needs to understand this issue will continue to get worse unless he acts now. It’s time for him to introduce rules that put the onus on waste-producing corporations to clean up their act.

In the meantime, the EPA should use the powers it has to ensure industrial waste is disposed of appropriately in Tasmania – including by setting stronger permit conditions, ensuring full compliance, and enforcing each and every breach.