Topic: election Oz 2007
Wentworth voters (Waverley, Woollahra Councils' ratepayers) OWNED the dioxin spewing Waterloo Incinerator and SUPPORTED closure of the highly polluting monster sited well outside their councils' area in 1997 after a determined campaign by Greens/ Greenpeace/ Friends of the Earth, South Sydney Council media consultants, resident groups, from at least 1992 onward, at significant asset loss ($40M) mitigated by land sale, and higher waste management costs this last 10 years.
Yet the Wentworth voters gave their real politik support out of public goodwill to Zetland/Waterloo folks at risk of cancer. They did it out of growing environmental consciousness. They did this because it was the right moral thing to do despite the cost.
Picture: Some documents from a dusty file on dioxin polluting Waterloo Incinerator owned by Wentworth voters as ratepayers, closed in 1997, sold to Landcom (see pdf file here) and due for demolition this year apparently. We passed on our main file when we got the hell out of the Eastern Suburbs branch of the Greens back in 2000, exhausted, a little bitter and twisted but mostly just tired.
There was no political backlash in 1997 to the Greens when the NSW Environment Protection Authority brought the guillotine down on the rebirthing of the facility in 1997. Waverley voters elected this writer in 1995 on the election platform to close the brute, they remained loyal in 1997 and were rewarded with dedicated service for the full 4 year term by this grassroots representative. The voting pattern supporting the Green Party is indicative with increased councilor reps 95 (1) to 99 (3, 1) to 2003 (3, 2) in both councils respectively.
At one point former ALP council colleague and later Mayor Peter Moscat asked this writer "What have done to those people down there?" meaning Bondi Beach ward, referring to their greater tendency to feral community driven politics. At the time I was flummoxed by the question but on reflection the answer is this: "I gave them 'permission' as their local representative". A permission they didn't really need from anyone but but maybe just wanted a little encouragement from a path finder.
The same will likely apply in terms of Wentworth voters concern for the Launceston folks at risk of dioxin and furan water pollution, and rotten egg gas air pollution too, from the Tamar Valley pulp mill decision this week.
Tom McLoughlin, editor, former Greens Councillor Waverley 95-99 (retired), Chair Environment Committee, member Finance Committee, ex officio co director of Waterloo Process Plant (ie Incinerator), Friends of the Earth 1995-2001.