Proposed soil facility risks permanent burden to the west

Published on 03 September 2020

Large volumes of contaminated soil from future construction projects could be brought into to Melbourne’s west for many years to come if a proposal to construct a new facility at the Ravenhall landfill is approved.

As part of a bid to accept the contaminated West Gate Tunnel soil, Cleanaway is proposing to develop a new soil reuse and management facility at the Melbourne Regional Landfill site in Ravenhall.

Melton and Brimbank councils have raised serious concern over what the future of the proposed facility would be once the West Gate Tunnel project was complete.

City of Melton Mayor Cr Lara Carli urged the Victorian Government to consider how the facility’s approval could attract a continual flow of similar projects.

“If approved, this would be a permanent facility that would be able to accept other contaminated soil projects for years or decades to come. This is simply unacceptable,” Cr Carli said.

“Once it’s constructed, Council and our community will have no say about the future projects it will attract into our area. Contaminated soil could endlessly be dumped and processed here.

“We’re one of Australia’s fastest growing urban growth corridors and this facility could also hinder critically needed new investment and jobs creation.”

City of Brimbank Mayor Cr Georgina Papafotiou said approving the facility would be unfair to local residential and industrial communities.

“In the likelihood that future projects are accepted, increased truck congestion to transport soil to the facility could become a new and unwelcome normal in our area,” Cr Papafotiou said.

“Our local communities should not have to accept this burden in the area they’ve chosen to live, work and raise their families.”

The proposed facility would test the soil in lots and transport anything with contamination levels of A or B to another facility.

“We’re looking at even more truck traffic on local roads to relocate that soil, not just for this project, but soil from any future projects that are sent to this site,” Cr Papafotiuo added.

The EPA is still assessing Cleanaway’s Environment Management Plan (EMP) which is one of many approvals required to progress its proposal. If the EPA is satisfied that Cleanaway’s EMP would adequately protect human health and the environment from pollution and waste, then the application will be eligible for further considerations by the state government and Transurban. Earlier this week, two other sites had their EMPs approved.

To find out more about Cleanaway’s proposal and to sign the Stop the Soil petition urging the state government and Transurban not to send contaminated soil to our area, visit stopthesoil.com.au

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