Anti-incinerator protesters hit the streets as Upper House inquiry fires up again

Anti-incinerator protesters took to the streets of Penrith on Saturday, as another round of an inquiry into energy-from-waste technology began on Monday.

Residents marched on state government minister Stuart Ayres’ office to continue their campaign against the proposed Eastern Creek incinerator.

Penrith councillors Todd Carney, Aaron Duke and Karen McKeown were among those to lend their weight to the march. 

“We will continue to fight this with the community until this is stopped and is dead in the water, until that time we will keep up the fight,” Cr Carney said.

Vocal opponents Blacktown mayor Stephen Bali and Londonderry MP Prue Car were also in Penrith on Saturday.

Cr Bali praised the community’s stand, saying the project “doesn't meet health standards, it doesn't meet environmental standards and needs to be shut down”.

“Planning needs to make a decision as soon as possible and for the Parliamentary inquiry we want to see [Dial A Dump director Ian] Malouf appear before the inquiry and be held to account for his proposal and why he can't get it right in the first place,” Cr Bali said.

“So let's get the truth out in the inquiry next week.”

The rally came days after the project’s proponents, Dial A Dump, released results of an “independent survey” of NSW residents.

It claimed that of 1200 people surveyed, 69 per cent of them supported the facility. 

Dial A Dump director Ian Malouf. Picture: Isabella Lettini

Dial A Dump director Ian Malouf. Picture: Isabella Lettini

Dial A Dump says the survey conducted by Q and A Research also found that 65 per cent of residents living within 20 kilometres of the site supported the project, while 27 per cent strongly supported it.

“The independent study confirms our view that the broader Sydney community recognises that our proposed facility will be an asset to the whole of Sydney in helping to contain the costs of power generation,” Dial A Dump chief executive Chris Biggs said.

The Star asked for a copy of the survey but were only provided with one question: “Just based on what you may have seen, read or heard about these types of facilities, to what extent do you support or oppose The Next Generation energy-from-waste facility in Eastern Creek, Sydney?”

Leaders of the No Incinerator for Western Sydney group raised concerns about the survey, after receiving messages from residents interviewed by Q and A Research.

One respondent claimed the questions were “skewed in a way that could convince anyone this incinerator was a great idea”.

This led No Incinerator for Western Sydney to launch its own survey, which currently sits at 99.5 per cent opposed.

The proposal is set to go to the Planning Assessment Commission. 

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