Push for public consultation on proposed contaminated soil facility

Melton City Council has formally urged the Planning Minister to consult the community before making a decision on an application that would help facilitate Cleanaway’s bid to accept the contaminated West Gate Tunnel soil. It came as Council’s joint Stop the Soil campaign with Brimbank City Council reached a milestone of more than 2000 community supporters.

Council’s request was part of an official submission to the Minister on Cleanaway’s application for a Planning Scheme Amendment to expand its Ravenhall landfill with a soil management and reuse facility. If approved, the amendment as it stands would remove the need to consult the public on the proposal.

With major concerns over the permanent nature of the proposed facility, Council also called for it to be decommissioned once it is no longer required to facilitate the West Gate Tunnel Project.

City of Melton CEO Kelvin Tori said the community deserved to have their say on a proposal that would have a lasting impact.

“The impact of this facility going ahead would be long-lasting and our community should not be denied the opportunity to have their concerns heard,” Mr Tori said.

“What’s proposed here is not just a facility to process the West Gate Tunnel soil, but a permanent facility that would be able to accept other contaminated soil projects indefinitely.

“As proposed, it has the potential to hinder planning for residential and commercial growth in the surrounding area, and negatively impact amenity and safety for people who live and work nearby. Compliance issues with the existing facility have also raised alarm, and added to concern over environmental impacts.

“We are strongly opposed to Cleanaway’s proposal and we hope the Planning Minister will consider the issues Council has outlined in response to this proposal.”

In its submission, Council has outlined several reasons why it would be inappropriate for the Minister to approve the Planning Scheme Amendment. These include the scale of the proposed expansion; off-site amenity impacts; ability to operate indefinitely; lack of community consultation; and capacity to involve activities for which the potential long-term impacts may not be realised for a long time.

The Planning Minister will now consider Council’s submission in making a decision on Cleanaway’s Planning Scheme Amendment application.

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