What has the government promised?
Nippon’s $600 million Energy from Waste incinerator is not a stand alone proposal. It has implications for the future of the entire Maryvale facility and impacts on the wider environment and community from the forests of eastern Victoria to the garbage bins of Melbourne.
Nippon’s plans have been discussed with the Victorian government. They include ‘Project Pivot’, a turnaround plan for the Maryvale mills, and ‘Vision 2019’, a plan for advanced bio manufacturing at Maryvale. The latter involves diverting lignin from the mill’s onsite waste stream to become a feedstock for bio manufacturing. The Victorian and Commonwealth governments each contributed $2.5 million to a $7.5 million feasibility study for the incinerator which was due to be completed in June 2018 but has not been published.
Maryvale’s legislated wood supply agreement expires in 2030 but long before that Victoria’s native forests will have been destroyed beyond repair by logging and fire. For ecosystems and species like Leadbeater’s Possum and the Greater Glider, the crisis is now.
The question is — has the government promised Nippon that it will maintain the legislated wood supply agreement or even extend it? Has it decided against the Great Forest National Park and Emerald Link?
It’s time for the Victorian government and the company to come clean on their plans for the forests and the Maryvale mills.