Labor has enlisted the support of Fiona Patten and the Liberal Democrats today to uphold planning amendments that will allow millions of tonnes of toxic PFAS soil to be dumped on rural communities in Bacchus Marsh.
The Liberal Nationals moved a motion to disallow amendments to the Moorabool Planning Scheme which will allow Labor to dump millions of tonnes of toxic PFAS soil from the West Gate Tunnel Project near the Bacchus Marsh community.
Labor sneakily tabled regulations in Parliament earlier this year, avoiding community consultation, to allow the EPA to approve environmental plans to allow construction companies to dump PFAS soil and exempt them from any landfill levy charges, costing taxpayers millions of dollars.
Despite the dodgy regulations, the EPA has still been caught out trying to rush through toxic soil dumping applications without sufficient information or due diligence, with the EPA now admitting it did not have the power to issue approvals to Maddingley Coal to receive toxic soil from Labor’s plagued West Gate Tunnel Project.
Daniel Andrews and Labor have demonstrated a complete disregard for the concerns of the community in Bacchus Marsh and no respect for the legitimate concerns around the risks that PFAS toxic soil poses to human health and the environment. This process has seen dodgy deals from start to finish and Labor’s deal with the crossbenchers is yet another chapter in this saga of toxic waste and toxic politics.
Comments attributable to Leader of the Opposition in the Upper House, David Davis:
“Daniel Andrews’ toxic PFAS contaminated tunnel soil dumping plans are rapidly becoming a farce.
“Labor has no EPA environmental approval to dump at Bacchus Marsh and the planning authority to do so surviving challenge in the Upper House by just one vote.
“If I were Patten, Limbrick or Quilty, I would be giving Bacchus Marsh a wide berth after their disgraceful support for Labor’s toxic dumping plan.”
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Bridget Vallence:
“This is just another example of Labor’s complete disregard for the concerns of the local Bacchus Marsh community and the risks that PFAS toxic soil poses to human health and the local environment.
“It’s incredibly disappointing that Ms Pattern and the Liberal Democrats have failed to support the Bacchus Marsh community against these toxic soil dumping plans. By siding with Daniel Andrews and Labor, the crossbenchers are failing communities who will have toxic soil dumped near their homes and schools.
“Daniel Andrews and Labor have been caught out putting the interests of foreign-owned construction companies ahead of local environmental protections and the safety and wellbeing of the community.
“We need an independent investigation, not only into how the Andrews Labor Government and the EPA approved an Environmental Management Plan in contravention of the law, but also into the Government’s secrecy around these regulations and its determination to dump PFAS toxic soil on the Bacchus Marsh community.
“I’m calling for an independent investigation to find out how the Andrews Labor Government and the EPA could get this so wrong. How could the EPA issue a permit to dump millions of tonnes of toxic soil, when it has itself admitted it did not have the power to give the approval?
“Under Labor, the EPA has a hopeless track record on keeping Victorians safe and has now tried to rush through dodgy approvals to save Andrews’ plagued West Gate Tunnel Project.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Planning, Tim Smith:
“Labor’s disgraceful planning approval to dump toxic soil in Bacchus Marsh has not been overturned by the Upper House with some members of the crossbench voting with Labor against the overwhelming sentiment of local residents.
“Labor has abandoned the Bacchus Marsh community who have spoken loud and clear – they do not want toxic soil dumped near their backyards.”
Comments attributable to Member for Western Victoria, Bev McArthur:
“The Bacchus Marsh community has been badly let down by Labor and some crossbench MPs. Local Labor Upper House MPs, Pulford and Tierney have never been seen in Bacchus Marsh and were not able to support their constituents today, either.
“However, The Liberal Nationals will continue to fight against Daniel Andrews’ plans to turn Bacchus Marsh into a toxic dumping ground.”