SMRC to head waste review

MELVILLE council is accused of allowing the fox to run the chicken coop by endorsing the controversial Southern Metropolitan Regional Council to run a $100,000 review of waste management.

Acknowledging the “perceived risk that if the SMRC are endorsed as the lead agency, that the review may not be conducted in an independent manner” the SMRC has promised to engage a “suitably qualified independent consultant”.

Melville council endorsed the strategy at Tuesday’s meeting with current SMRC chair Cameron Schuster—a Melville councillor—moving the motion.

“You have got to be cynical when the chair of the SMRC puts forward the motion to conduct the review,” long-time SMRC critic and Leeming resident Rod Petterson told the Herald. “They can’t be trusted.”

Pettitt wants state to take over rubbish

Mr Petterson says the council tabled a review last year showing Melville would save $3.2 million a year by bailing out of the SMRC, which manages regional waste on behalf of a number of member councils (including Fremantle and Cockburn). Cost over-runs and persistent odour problems have bedevilled the SMRC for years.

Mr Petterson says a recent trip to Japan by senior council personnel to view waste-to-energy facilities (incinerators) was a clear indication of council’s desire to find a better and cheaper solution.

CEO Shayne Silcox, a member of the Tokyo delegation, predicts the SMRC will fail if Melville pulls out.

Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt supports the SMRC conducting the review but wants the WA government to take over waste management.

The SMRC is conducting a strategic review of operations and has commenced a review of future alternative waste technologies. The review coincides with the remaining life of the waste composting facility and the date at which loan repayments to the WA Treasury Corporation are to be repaid.


One response to “SMRC to head waste review

  1. Cameron Schuster has a very dark waste management history in WA. Folks may not remember his role in the mismanagement and environmental health disaster associated with one of WA’s worst waste management toxic sites – the Omex site – a 30 000 cubic metre waste oil sludge pit in the middle of residential Bellevue that poisoned the community for 50 years. Mr Schuster was the senior waste management bureacrat that was responsible for the clean up of that toxic site, where he required victims to sign confidentiality clauses and extinguish their rights to claim for future health impacts. These are the people representing our best interests in waste management? I don’t think so.

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