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Victorian Labor’s toxic soil dumping plans show contempt for Bacchus Marsh community

The Andrews Labor Government has shown complete disregard for the safety and welfare of the students and staff of Bacchus Marsh Grammar along with nearby residents and risks jeopardising our precious food bowl and jobs.

The State Labor Government’s desperate attempts to dump the excavated Westgate Tunnel project toxic soil at the nearby Maddingley Brown Coal (MBC) facility have led to enormous anxiety in the local community.

There are significant fears around contamination, including PFAS.

Labor’s treatment of the Bacchus Marsh community is completely unacceptable and is to be condemned.

The Moorabool Environment Group also fears for our food supply with adjoining creeks and aquifers flowing into the Werribee River which the group identifies as “a source of irrigation for the market gardens and orchards around Bacchus Marsh”.

I call on the Andrews Government and local Labor MPs, who have done nothing, to now show some decency and provide meaningful support to the grammar school and the local community.

The Andrews Government must withdraw any further attempts to dump contaminated soil in Bacchus Marsh.

Victorian Labor’s failure to support State Liberal Opposition efforts in State Parliament to revoke the planning scheme amendment allowing the toxic waste dump plans is a disgrace.

This week, Victoria’s Environment Protection Authority wrote to Bacchus Marsh Grammar’s lawyers revealing “…it has now formed the view that it was not open to it to be satisfied that the plan submitted by Maddingley Brown Coal Pty Ltd (MBC) included all the matters specified in regulation 6(2)(s) of the Environment Protection (Management of Tunnel Boring Machine Spoil) Regulations 2020…”.

The EPA letter goes on to say “…Accordingly, the Authority has formed the view that the decision, on 1 September 2020, to approve the environment management plan submitted by MBC (the Decision) was made ultra vires…”.

That is, beyond its powers and therefore outside the law.

This will allow a very short window for the school to protect itself from Labor’s dangerous soil dumping plans which include MBC’s plans to test the toxic soil in an area as close as 220 metres from the school boundary.

Bacchus Marsh residents fear for their health and for their future and Labor couldn’t care less.

9 December 2020

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