WASTE TO ENERGY — RESIDUAL WASTE
1089. Hon SIMON O'BRIEN to the Minister for
I refer to the Environmental Protection Authority
recommendations for changes to the ministerial conditions pertaining to the
four waste-to-energy plants approved in Western Australia and in particular the
recommended change of definition of residual waste in these approvals to refer
to waste remaining after ''best practice'' source separation.
(1) Is the
government intending to set a discriminatory, higher standard than is required
for disposal to landfill; and, if so, why?
(2) Is the
government intending to set a higher standard than is set in the current draft ''Waste
Strategy'', which defines ''residual
waste'' as waste remaining after ''better practice''
source separation; and, if so, why?
(3) Has the
minister contemplated that application of such imprecise and changeable
definitions creates a lack of certainty for all stakeholders in the waste
sector as to what standards will be required in the future; and, if so, has
such a factor had any bearing on his considerations?
Hon STEPHEN DAWSON
I thank the honourable
member for some notice of the question.
objects of the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2007 set out that
waste management options be considered against a waste hierarchy whereby
resource recovery, including energy recovery, is preferred to disposal.
Although recovery options are preferred over landfill disposal, energy recovery
is the least preferred recovery option.
The Environmental Protection Authority has
recommended a definition of ''residual waste'' and proposed conditions
to provide clarity for implementation of waste-to-energy proposals. The draft ''Waste
Strategy 2030'' is consistent with the EPA's recommended
definition. The draft strategy is intended to give effect to the WARR Act
requirement to set out strategies for the continuous improvement of waste
services. I will consider both the EPA's advice and the feedback on the
draft strategy from people and entities who have made a submission on the
review of the waste strategy before making a decision on the appropriate
approach to residual waste.