THE Cities of Swan and Kalamunda and Shire of Mundaring say their commitment to the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council’s (EMRC) waste to energy facility will continue despite the withdrawal of two out of six member councils from the project.
The three Cities, along with Belmont, Bayswater and the Town of Bassendean, form six member councils from Perth’s eastern suburbs to make the EMRC.
Earlier this year the Town of Bassendean decided to revoke its original decision to support a participants agreement outlining the rights and obligations of those using
the Resource Recovery facility planned for construction in East Rockingham.
The City of Bayswater followed suit at a special council meeting in February resolving that because the participants agreement was not negotiated to the satisfaction of the City, the Council was unable to support the project.
At the Shire of Mundaring October 2017 meeting Council agreed to adopt and sign the participants agreement.
Echo News understands the agreement was signed this week.
Shire of Mundaring deputy president Lynn Fisher said councillors attended a forum to discuss City of Bayswater’s decision but Council had no reason to change its mind.
“We’ve put a lot of time, years worth of effort, into it,” she said.
“We’ve already sorted ourselves, our council is more mature with the idea, we’ve thought about it longer,” she said.
When asked about ratepayers concerns of waste cost increases, Cr Fisher said international landfill costs were rising and that it was likely waste charges for ratepayers would decrease over the next 20 years under a waste to energy plan.
“As an environmental investment it’s the best one going,” Cr Fisher said.
“Almost anything is better than landfill.”
Similarly, the City of Swan resolved to sign the agreement at its September meeting but says the document is currently being finalised.
“The City has been actively involved in working with the EMRC on this project since its inception and is fully supportive of the positive environmental and economic benefits this world class facility offers,” chief executive Mike Foley said.
Mr Foley said the Bassendean and Bayswater withdrawal would not have an effect on the City’s participation.
City of Kalamunda chief executive Rhonda Hardy said the City’s position had not changed in light of recent news and the project was viable with the remaining four member councils.
“The project is feasible with four member Councils of the EMRC,” she said.
“The financial risk is minimal.
“Waste disposal charges will have certainty into the future and be reduced compared to landfill disposal, which is subject to uncertain and increasing State Government landfill levies and a possible future Federal Government carbon tax if reintroduced.”
All three local government authorities said their annual waste services charges were not expected to increase when the change from landfill to resource recovery facility was made.
The ERMC said it had provided further information to the City of Bayswater and could not comment until it received a response from the City on its final decision.
The City of Bayswater would not confirm if it was reconsidering its decision based on the new information provided by the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council.
By Claire Ottaviano