Alarming admission: Call for urgent review of proposed toxic soil site

Published on 11 December 2020

City of Melton Mayor, Kathy Majdlik is calling for an urgent review of the State Government approval for Ravenhall landfill to accept the toxic West Gate Tunnel soil, following an alarming admission from the Environmental Protection Authority this week.

The EPA has admitted that it did not have the legal grounds to approve plans for Melbourne Regional Landfill in Ravenhall or any of the three sites vying to accept the toxic soil and will therefore overturn its own approvals.

Cr Kathy Majdlik said the admission raised serious concern over the approval process and called for a review of the subsequent State Government approval of Cleanaway’s Planning Scheme Amendment.

“The Minister for Planning must urgently review the State Government’s own approval for toxic soil to be dumped in Ravenhall based on this development. We cannot simply accept this approval from the State Government after the EPA got its assessment so wrong,” Cr Majdlik said.

“While we welcome the EPA’s decision to overturn its approval, we now have serious doubt over the entire review and approval process.

“This failure in decision making is an alarming admission from a regulator that is responsible for ensuring the safety of our environment and the people within it. How can we trust that the disposal of toxic soil will be managed effectively and safely? It’s not a risk we’re willing to take and it highlights exactly why the toxic soil should not be dumped in our city.

“We were shocked when the EPA and the State Government recently approved Cleanaway’s plans for the Ravenhall landfill. Dumping toxic soil in an area where families live and work doesn’t make sense. The west is not a dumping ground for toxic waste our residents deserve better.

“This process has not taken into account community or council feedback and I’m deeply concerned about the consequences this may have.

“We urged the EPA to overturn its decision and now we’re asking the same of the State Government. Legal compliance and the safety of our community must be guaranteed before this progresses any further.”

Melton City Council has written to the Minister for Planning seeking an urgent review of approvals granted to Cleanaway for the Melbourne Regional Landfill to accept the West Gate Tunnel soil.

The West Gate Tunnel project contractor, Transurban is yet to make the final decision on which site will accept the contaminated soil. Council has written to the West Gate Tunnel Project to request that any decision on awarding the tender be put on hold until all planning conditions are confirmed legally valid.

Anyone opposed to toxic soil being dumped in Ravenhall is encouraged to sign the petition at stopthesoil.com.au and contact their local MP and the Minister for Planning directly.

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