STINK SQUAD: Specialist taskforce launches in Ipswich

REVOLTING smells plaguing Ipswich residents will be dealt with under a State Government crackdown, launched today.

The Odour Abatement Taskforce has been established to address long-standing concerns over unpleasant odours affecting residents in a host of Ipswich suburbs.

It comes after a telephone survey conducted by the Environment Department in May found half of the residents surveyed experienced the notorious odour while six out of 10 were concerned about air quality in general.

Almost 1500 residents in Swanbank, Ripley, Redbank Plains, Raceview, Flinders View, Collingwood Park, Blackstone, Ebbw Vale and Dinmore took part in the survey.

Now the State Government has allocated $2.5 million to establishing the taksforce to be based in Redbank Plains.

The taskforce will be made up of 10 specialist environmental officers, who will be on the ground to respond to odour complaints swiftly.

Air monitoring technology will be introduced and a review of industry regulation and practice will be undertaken.

Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said the Taskforce would respond to significant community concerns, confirmed by the recent independent community survey.

"With the information received from 1435 local residents, we have moved swiftly to establish a taskforce of 10 specialist environmental officers who will hit the ground from today," Ms Enoch said.

"The team will be dedicated to investigating and responding to issues raised by the community."

She said the community survey addressed waste management, air quality and water management issues within the Swanbank industrial area.

"Part of our response will be to introduce new technologies to monitor air, noise and water quality in Ipswich suburbs," Ms Enoch said.

"In addition to on-the-ground investigations, the Odour Abatement Taskforce will intensively examine and review current industry regulation and practice."

Member for Bundamba Jo-Ann Miller, who has been voicing residents' concerns about the odour for years, said it was pleasing to have a dedicated taskforce in Ipswich to respond directly to issues raised by the community.

"We are serious about addressing community concerns," Ms Miller said.

"This Taskforce will be solely devoted to coordinating new efforts and resources around investigating and responding to issues raised by the community through feedback received from the survey.

In the last financial year, the state's environmental regulator carried out more than 7250 compliance checks state-wide with 855 of those compliance checks conducted in the Ipswich area.

Ms Enoch assured the people of Ipswich the level of scrutiny would be "significantly greater" now the taskforce had been launched.

Call 1300 130 372 and dial 3 to speak directly with someone about Swanbank.

In June, the QT reported on the release of tender documents focusing on composters in the Swanbank area.

The tender documents released by the State Government's Environment Department called for an independent consultant to review the compost industry.

To fulfill the tender requirements, "an investigation of composting operations within the Swanbank Industrial Area must be conducted", the tender documents state.

Tenders closed on Tuesday.

For more information on Swanbank click here.

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