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Statement on proposed waste to energy facility

The Committee for Geelong has joined a growing list of local organisations and individuals opposing the proposed waste to energy facility in Lara.

Following concerns from among its membership, the Committee sought to understand the proposal from all angles before reaching a policy position. This included hosting a member forum on 21 February 2024, where both the proponents and opponents of the proposal were invited to address the Committee’s membership.

Following the briefing, through it’s Strategy & Policy Committee, the Committee for Geelong considered the information with the consensus being this project does not align to our vision and aspirations for our city.

 In particular, there remain concerns around:

  1. the volume of waste required to operate, which coupled with the lack of demand within the Geelong region, could see Geelong become the destination for waste from across Victoria (and beyond);

  2. the proximity of the proposed site to residential housing and the negative impact this could have on both established and growth suburbs in the north at a time where there are pressures on housing supply;

  3. the size, design and positioning of the site creating a dominant, yet visually disagreeable landmark in contrast to our UNESCO City of Design status;

  4. potential health impacts for the community in terms of air quality and residual particles landing on produce grown in the region; and

  5. the overall environmental benefits of the proposal.

As such, the Committee for Geelong is supporting a number of our members in opposing this proposal and calling for action by the Victorian Government to prevent this proposal proceeding.  

There is a broader discussion required around whether waste to energy has a place in the state’s energy transition, and the Committee has not formed a view on this at this time.

The Committee would like to acknowledge Prospect Hill International, and its representatives, for their willingness to engage with the Committee and our membership on this matter. Similarly, the Committee wishes to thank the community representatives who presented their views and concerns.

 Michael Johnston

Committee for Geelong CEO

Image: Prospect Hill

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