Independent investigation into waste transport to Queensland

The Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced a three month independent investigation into the transport of waste into Queensland.

The investigation, following the Four Corners exposure of waste dumping from New South Wales, is the result of a roundtable chaired by the Premier and Environment Minister Steven Miles which included waste and recycling industry representatives, the Local Government Association of Queensland, the Department of Premier and Cabinet and the Environment Department.

Ms Palaszczuk said she wanted to send “a clear message to interstate waste generators and companies that Queensland is not a free for all”.

“We need to better understand the actions of those who haul waste several hundred kilometres to Queensland, what responses we can make, and whether national action is required.

“Not only is interstate waste haulage unnecessary, it can be unsafe. We also need to question the potential cost to Queensland taxpayers and the environment.”

The scope of the investigation will include:

  • Incentives for movement of waste from other states and how to prevent this from occurring

  • Illegal practices and possible breaches of regulations

  • Need for regulatory reform

  • The role of other states and the Commonwealth.

Mr Miles said the government would continue its enforcement operations to stop illegal dumping in Queensland.

He said officers from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP), Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) and Queensland Police Service (QPS) had been conducting a joint operation since 10 August to inspect heavy vehicles coming from NSW carrying waste.

“Of the 49 waste trucks inspected by EHP, 31 came from interstate, which is 63 per cent – demonstrating a high level of interstate activity in south-east Queensland. Further compliance checks will be carried out this week in the Ipswich area as part of Operation TORA.”

The investigation is expected to report by mid-November.

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