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Swanbank stench will see someone pay dearly


FINDING the source of the Swanbank stench has been likened to trying to find out who farted in a crowded lift.

But Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale insists he will find out, and woe betide the culprit or culprits.

Council officers have met with Department of Environment and Heritage officials this week to discuss the next plan of attack to combat the smell.

"If there are industries out there not complying with their conditions we are going to come down on them like a ton of bricks," Cr Pisasale said.

"We are coming. The EPA should be coming.

"They should fulfil their conditions and stop doing things in the middle of the night, or whatever they are doing, to create these smells.

"The residents have had enough.

"My CEO has met with senior officers from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and council management has been tasked to find a solution and source of the Swanbank odour.

"I get complaints on this on a daily basis and from as far away as the Ripley Valley. It depends which way the prevailing winds are blowing."

"Most industries do the right thing and operate within their environmental licences.

"If there's a rogue operator they need to be pulled into line."

Residents have been complaining of the smells coming from Swanbank for years, but the exact source has proven difficult to pinpoint, even for the state's environmental authorities.

There are several waste treatment and recycling plants in the area, incluing Nugrow, Lantrak, Wood Mulching Industries and Remondis.

There are now increasing concerns among nearby residents, with the news that landfill operator Remondis plans to significantly expand its operations in the area, taking up four additional lots.

The 850-page Impact Assessment Report on the proposed expansion states the Remondis-operated Swanbank Renewable Energy and Waste Management Facility is running out of room.


Swanbank resident Joe Llewellyn is angry about the odour that comes from the local industry surrounding his home. Inga Williams

Remondis Swanbank site manager Ishrar Ali said his facility was not to blame for the smells that come from Swanbank.

"Environment and Heritage Protection and Ipswich City Council have been to the site on several occasions over the last few years and have walked away each time," Mr Ali said.

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection confirmed what Mr Ali told the QT.

In a statement, a spokesman from the department said that despite 63 odour complaints from 31 residents in the past 12 months, it could not substantiate any of those complaints, nor trace the odours to their source.

"The Swanbank area houses a number of odorous industries, and it can be difficult to isolate a specific source of odour. The odour also tends to be transient, subjective and weather dependent," the spokesman said.

Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard said that in August last year the government established a waste industry compliance investigation - Operation Tora.

"Recently, the department has also established an Odour Taskforce in collaboration with Ipswich City Council and the Department of Science," she said.

"The department has been investigating a significant spike in odour complaints in the last four weeks.

"I understand that very recently, in fact sometime this week, enforcement officers undertook a snap inspection without prior notice of a business in our local area and I am looking forward to hearing the enforcement results that may flow from that inspection."

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Megabats and Microbats: Swanbank stench will see someone pay dearly
Swanbank stench will see someone pay dearly
Swanbank stench will see someone pay dearly
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