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Three Strikes for Matraville Incinerator

By Nicola Smith on April 23, 2021 in News

Matt Thistlethwaite, Danny Said and Michael Daley meeting to speak against the proposed incinerator. Photo: Matt Thistlethwaite MP

Local, state, and federal politicians have come together to oppose the planned Matraville incinerator, citing concerns for community health across the eastern suburbs.

The proposed incinerator would be capable of providing both steam and electricity to power the Opal Paper and Recycling Botany Mill.

“If approved, the plant would reduce waste to landfill, lower net CO2 emissions, create local jobs and increase local economic development,” a Suez spokesperson told The Beast.

However, Matt Thistlethwaite, Michael Daley and Danny Said have spoken together supporting the No More Incinerators campaign.

The No More Incinerators Campaign Manager and chemical engineer Chris Hanson said that Suez was not being transparent about the effects of a waste incinerator.

“What they don’t tell you is that some of the emissions contain dioxins which people end up breathing in and these and other persistent organic pollutants or POPs will be released 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” Mr Hanson told The Beast.

Dioxins have been linked to cancer and birth defects, as well as being found in breast milk and chicken eggs overseas in places where waste to energy incinerators are more common.

The campaign aims to get a groundswell of support from the community to stop the incinerator from being built less than 130m away from Eastern Suburbs homes.

Suez has also established a Community Reference Group to collect and share information with the local community, however there are concerns that they are not being fully transparent.

“They’re using the same tactics as tobacco companies used to counter health issues being raised about smoking, they’re saying that there’s no evidence that the pollutants being released pose a health hazard, but that’s not what’s being found in Europe,” Mr Hanson said.

State member for Maroubra Michael Daley said that the community was at the front of the three politicians concerns over the incinerators.

“I’m outraged at these plans, it’s just corporate greed chosen over looking after the community,” Mr Daley said.

Mr Hanson said the consequences of the incinerator will reach further than Matraville, particularly with other incinerators planned across Sydney.

“We live in a basin, so if all the planned incinerators go ahead, there won’t be anywhere in Sydney you can go to escape the constant stream of pollutants,” Mr Hanson told The Beast.

While the application has been designated as a “State Significant Development” the No More Incinerators campaigners are willing to go to the Land and Environment Court to stop the Matraville Incinerator.

Another proposed incinerator at Eastern Creek is currently being contested in the land and environment court.

Randwick Mayor Danny Said told the Beast that the issue was close to his heart as his mother lived in view of the stacks in Matraville when she first came to Australia.

“As a kid we would come and play on this street (Australia Avenue) and it was just sand and rubbish, Matraville has come so far since then, let’s not let it go backwards,” he said.

Federal member for Kingsford-Smith, Matt Thistlethwaite, encouraged the community to make their opinions on the incinerator known.

“Don’t think that others will fight for you, when the time comes, I urge you to make submissions and to speak up about the health of your community,” Mr Thistlethwaite said.

Head to or for more information about the Matraville incinerator.


  1. Hey Nicola
    Great story, I see Suez are still peddling their same old myths!

    Posted by: Chris Hanson | April 24, 2021, 6:40 AM |

    Reply to this comment >
  2. Saying no to the Matraville incinerator- health before profit

    Posted by: Leanne | April 25, 2021, 4:23 PM |

    Reply to this comment >
  3. we must receive ALL the facts, from ALL the incinerator data available. We must hold the Suez company to the truth
    nothing but the truth….I trust that these politicians will continue then fight, with research into the facts.
    What does the CASIRO think about this…who will find that out…who is the “Minister” for this, so that we can obtain the FACDTS.

    Posted by: robina mckellar | April 29, 2021, 9:26 AM |

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  4. Just read this article,and I’m angry that this may happen , it must be stopped, I grew up in Australia Ave and yes down the end of the street was sand ,but not a tip. I came from Pioneer family of Matraville the Dive brickyards was my Grandfather Dive . On the Weston family have monuments at Malabar. I would go swimming in the warm water coming out of the Paper Mills ,my father worked there,He lived to into his 80s and I’m 80 and in good health . This is unthinkable please SPOT IT.
    Joan Allan.

    Posted by: Joan Allan ne Weston | May 21, 2021, 7:51 PM |

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  5. Waste-to-energy incineration is sometimes promoted as a low-carbon source of energy, justifying
    increasing quantities of waste for use in electricity generation. The evidence, however, suggests that
    the carbon intensity of energy produced through incineration is around 2 times greater than the
    carbon intensity of the current EU average electricity grid intensity and has significantly more
    adverse climate impacts than conventional electricity generation from fossil fuels such as gas.
    Moreover, a number of reports indicate that much of what is currently used as incinerator feedstock
    could instead be recycled or composted, resulting in carbon savings and other environmental
    benefits. What’s clear is that waste incineration is therefore not a low-carbon source of energy, in
    fact, strategies promoting waste to energy could seriously undermine the EU’s and Australia’s efforts to reach netzero climate change emissions by 2050.

    Posted by: Matthew Bell | September 25, 2021, 11:30 AM |

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