Brimbank City Council and Melton City Council have today launched Stop the Soil – a joint advocacy campaign opposing contaminated soil from the Westgate Tunnel project being dumped at Melbourne Regional Landfill in Ravenhall.
The landfill’s operator, Cleanaway, is currently seeking planning approval from the Minister for Planning to construct a Soil Management and Reuse Facility (SMRF) to store soil from the Westgate Tunnel Project at its Ravenhall site. Both councils are calling on the Victorian Government and Transurban to reject Cleanaway’s bid.
The Melbourne Regional Landfill is located in a significant residential growth area, sitting within the City of Melton and bordering the City of Brimbank.
Brimbank Mayor Cr Georgina Papafotiou said both councils have partnered to continue to voice their concerns on behalf of their local communities.
“We are strongly opposed to contaminated soil from the West Gate Tunnel project being dumped in Ravenhall and we are calling on the State Government to prevent contaminated soil going to Ravenhall,” Cr Papafotiou said.
“This is consistent with Brimbank’s Transforming Brimbank Environmental Equity Agenda which advocates for a region wide approach to addressing environmental equity issues and improving sustainability outcomes.
“The construction of this new project should not compromise the environment for our local communities in the years to come. It would be inappropriate to send contaminated soil to Ravenhall.
“There would be 460 additional truck movements every day on local roads, placing burden on existing and growing residential and commercial areas.
“Dumping contaminated soil at Ravenhall undermines the work that has already been undertaken in Brimbank and Melton by all levels of government, and should be considered on the context of employment, education and development opportunities for local communities.”
City of Melton Mayor Cr Lara Carli said Council opposed the proposal to dump the spoil in Ravenhall in the interests of nearby families and future investment and jobs opportunities for locals.
“Although we fully appreciate that the Westgate Tunnel Project will reduce congestion and increase productivity, Ravenhall is not an appropriate site for contaminated soil to be located,” Cr Carli said.
“The site is adjacent to established residential suburbs in a significant growth area. The neighbouring Rockbank / Mount Cottrell area has the second fastest growth rate in Victoria at 37 per cent, while Caroline Springs, Burnside, Albanvale, and Deer Park are home to well-established communities.
“It’s also a significant area for future industrial and commercial investment with a number of developments in the area set to deliver more than 25,000 much-needed jobs in the near future.
In a period where growing jobs for Melbourne’s west has never been so important, it simply doesn’t make sense to dump contaminated soil in Ravenhall.
“Our priority is the wellbeing of nearby residents which includes protecting their liveability, ensuring their safety, and generating more local jobs. Help us stop the soil.”
Melton City Council and Brimbank City Council are also requesting that the State Government, Westgate Tunnel Authority, Transurban, John Holland and Cleanaway provide regular, transparent and timely advice and information. The councils also want ongoing community engagement to ensure residents are informed and can have their say.
Both councils have written to the Minister for Planning, Hon Richard Wynne, and Minister for Environment, Lily D’Ambrosio, and local Members of Parliament expressing their ongoing opposition to Westgate Tunnel spoil being transported to MRL.
Anyone who is concerned about this proposal is encouraged to visit stopthesoil.com.au and tell the Victorian Government and Transurban that you do not want contaminated soil dumped in Ravenhall.