Council rejects waste to energy application

Published on 25 August 2020


Hume City Council has rejected an application to build a waste-to-energy plant in Craigieburn after concerns the proposed facility would not meet a range of planning conditions. 

A Notice of Decision to Refuse to Grant a Planning Permit was issued for the site at 65 Amaroo Road last night, after the applicant, ENRGX Pty Ltd, failed to provide key information about how the facility would operate and its potential impacts on the community and environment. 

Under the proposal, approximately 1,500 tons of household, construction and demolition waste would be incinerated each day to produce up to 100 megawatts of electricity. 

A main plant building with a maximum height of 50 metres, and a flue stack that would extend between 60 metres and 90 metres tall was also proposed for the site. 

Hume Mayor Councillor Carly Moore said there were important questions that remained unanswered about the proposal, including the effects it could have on the local community. 

“Council has serious concerns about this proposed facility,” Cr Moore said. 

“The applicant provided very little information on how the plant would operate and what impact it will have on our community, including pollution and noise. 

“The proposal would involve the emission of flue gases from the incineration process, which would generate ash residues from the bottom of the incinerator.  

“Our community has every right to be concerned about a facility of this type being built in their own backyard when the potential impacts on their own health are unclear.” 

While the Urban Growth Zone exempts the proposal from public notice and third-party appeal rights if it’s generally in accordance with the precinct structure plan, Cr Moore said the community had made it quite clear about their objection to the proposal. 

“We received a petition with more than 1300 signatures and 190 submissions were lodged from our community against the proposal last year,” Cr Moore said. 

“The application was lodged with Council in September 2019 and Council officers have requested more information to fully explain and detail the proposal.  

“Information has been supplied in response to these requests, however the information has lacked integration and clarity to enable an informed decision to be made.” 

In addition to the lack of more general information, the application also has not provided a Cultural Heritage Management Plan for the land under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006.  

The facility would also require a concurrent Works Approval from EPA Victoria.