Living on “Planet Gormley” will cost Dubliners dearly – Ó Muirí

Cllr. Naoise Ó Muirí
Chairperson, Environment and Engineering Strategic Policy Committee
Dublin City Council

30th March 2010

Living on “Planet Gormley” will cost Dubliners dearly – Ó Muirí

Minister continues to undermine Local Government in Dublin in the interests of political survival.

Fine Gael Cllr. Naoise Ó Muirí has today (Tuesday) called on the Minister of Environment, Heritage and Local Government to stop undermining Dublin City Council waste policy at every possible opportunity, in light of plans by the Minister to implement a rising scale of charges to disadvantage the use of facilities like the Poolbeg waste-to-energy plant.

It is deeply ironic that the Green Party flies the political flag when it comes to Local Government reform yet the Minister continues to undermine Dublin City Council’s efforts to engage in responsible waste planning on behalf of its citizens at every opportunity.

Over 700,000 tonnes of waste went to landfill in the Dublin region in 2009 yet the Minister continues to ignore this waste mountain and the associated landfill levies which the region will inevitably have to start paying from 2012 unless alternative plans are put in place quickly.

Under the latest daft proposal from “Planet Gormley”, Poolbeg is likely to be subject to a rising scale of disproportionate levies because of its size as a means of restricting its operation – the more efficient Poolbeg is, the greater the Minister will try and levy against it.

Implementing a levy scheme of this nature on incineration is likely to lead to market distortion and therefore may well be open to legal challenge.

However, it will ultimately mean a bigger hit to the pockets of Dubliners as we will have to pay for our 700,000 tonnes of waste to be transported out of the Dublin region for processing at smaller regional facilities around Ireland.

The Green Party mantra of “do the right thing” so prominently displayed this weekend has a hollow ring indeed, particularly when in this case the “right thing” seems to be the Minister’s political survival at the expense of economically-viable regional waste policy.