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Have your say on the Energy from Waste Policy by Monday

23 August, 2019

The Queensland Government is currently seeking your thoughts on policy around the conversion of waste materials into fuels or energy such as electricity, heat or cooling.

A Discussion Paper outlining the proposed policy for Queensland is available here: Energy from Waste Policy Discussion Paper.

Submissions are due by 5pm, Monday 26 August 2019.

This work is intended to help Queensland transition to a more circular economy, however the Discussion Paper stipulates that the government considers energy from waste options should only be sought once all other ‘practical and economically viable opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle wastes have been exhausted’.  

To ensure that the waste hierarchy is preserved, EDO Qld considers that it is essential to maintain a clear focus on reducing, reusing and recycling as the policy priorities for waste management. In the Netherland’s, a waste incineration tax was introduced to ensure recycling remains the preferred method; this could be considered for Queensland.

While you are able to make comments about any matters you choose related to this proposal, the discussion paper poses the following questions:

  1. Do you agree that energy should be extracted from residual waste materials rather than disposing of those materials to landfill, if there are no other available alternatives for reusing or recycling the waste materials?
  2. Does the proposed three-pathway framework for EfW technologies provide an appropriate, risk-based approach? (see pages 12-15) What additional or alternative characteristics of EfW proposals should be considered?
  3. How should a proposal or technology type transition from Pathway 3 (demonstration) to Pathway 2?
  4. What role should facility operators, collection contractors and local councils be expected to play in ensuring that only appropriate residual waste is accepted for energy recovery?
  5. What should the requirements be for safeguarding current and future resource recovery? Does the solution involve source-segregation, pre-processing or both?
  6. Should the Queensland Government ban specific materials from EfW facilities, or from both landfill and EfW facilities?
  7. Should thermal EfW processes be required to meet the European R1 Criteria? Why/why not?
  8. Do you agree that the European BREF for Waste Incineration and BREF for Waste Treatment are appropriate guidance documents for Pathway 2 technologies? Why/why not?
  9. What aspects of the current planning and assessment framework do you think require clarification?
  10. How can the planning process support effective community engagement?
  11. What role should the government play in assessing significant EfW proposals?
  12. Do you agree with the proposed stakeholder engagement principles and responsibilities? Is there anything you would add or change?
  13. How could proponents demonstrate that they have followed the proposed principles of engagement?
  14. Should proponents of EfW facilities be required to demonstrate that they have obtained a social licence to operate the proposed facility? How would this be demonstrated?

The government’s website here also provides more information on Queensland’s: Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy, which includes the waste disposal levy.

How to make a submission

Submissions are due by 5pm, 26 August 2019.


Energy-from-waste paper
Office of Resource Recovery
Department of Environment and Science
GPO Box 2454
Brisbane Qld 4001


Environmental Defenders Office Queensland (EDO Qld) gives a strong legal voice to the environment when needed most.

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