Western Sydney Minister Stuart Ayres has broken his silence on plans for an incinerator proposed for Eastern Creek.
Mr Ayres’ office in Penrith had been targeted by a series of anti-incinerator protests for his perceived inaction on the issue.
But responding to questions from Greens MLC Mehreen Faruqi in parliament on Wednesday, he admitted he was against Dial A Dump’s bid.
He also defended the applicant’s right to fair process, with the proposal set to go before the Planning Assessment Commission.
“The proponent has every right to have that proposal heard by the independent planner,” Mr Ayres said.
“Whilst I do not support the incinerator, I have seen the advice that has been provided by [NSW] Health and [The Environmental Protection Authority].
“I support an independent planning decision framework in NSW, because under the previous government I have seen what happens when you do not have it.”
Concerned residents are writing to Premier Gladys Berejiklian as the campaign against the incinerator continues.
More than 200 letters have flooded Ms Berejiklian’s office calling on her to “protect the people of Sydney” by putting a stop to Dial A Dump’s project.
No Incinerator for Western Sydney spokeswoman Melinda Wilson said the group has lobbied to have Ms Berejiklian meet with the group, to no avail.
“It’s her job to work with the people of Sydney,” Ms Wilson said.
“She should be following what her constituents want, not what wealthy business people want.”
Dial A Dump director Ian Malouf last month told an Upper House inquiry into energy-from-waste technology, sparked by his company’s plans, that the plant would burn 550,000 tonnes of waste in its first stage.
Mr Malouf stood by the proposal in spite of fierce backlash from local residents, councils and politicians.
“It’s a substantial investment for us...it will bring jobs to western Sydney,” he said.
“It provides cheaper electricity prices, it’s a safer alternative to landfill [and] reduces greenhouse gas emissions.”
Public submissions to the inquiry end on Sunday, September 10.
Mount Druitt MP Edmond Atalla, a critic of the proposal, called on the community to make its voice heard before it’s too late.
“I stand with the Western Sydney Local Health District and the Environmental Protection Agency with their concerns regarding air quality, environmental pollution and then general health and well-being of those living in close proximity,” he said.
“I believe the people of western Sydney deserve better, and I encourage the citizens of Mount Druitt to voice their opposition to this devastating plan.”
To make a submission visit the Parliament of NSW website.