The Andrews Labor Government has welcomed action taken by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to protect the Stawell community from the tyre stockpile on Saleyards Road.
From today, the EPA will begin removing the tyres from the site after repeated attempts to make the owners of the stockpile meet their legal and regulatory obligations.
The EPA’s primary aim in taking this action is to protect the Stawell community and the environment.
The Andrews Labor Government recognises the important role that the EPA plays in protecting human health and the environment from the harmful effects of pollution and waste.
That is why the Labor Government has invested $162.5 million into the EPA to boost its capacity to manage risks – like those presented by stockpiling of wastes – and maximise the effectiveness and efficiency of existing EPA powers through the development of a prosecution strategy.
The Labor Government is also introducing new laws to further manage the risk of stockpiled waste material through the development of an Interim Waste Management Policy.
The policy will target risks from the stockpiling of combustible waste materials.
Stockpiling tyres presents a significant fire risk if not managed properly. It also represents an environmental risk to air quality, as well as potential run-off of from fire water into waterways and potential soil contamination.
Removal of this many tyres will take some time, but must be done to ensure the Stawell community can be confident the risk from a tyre fire at this stockpile has been removed.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“Previous owners and current management have failed to comply with the notices that have been served by the EPA and the CFA.”
“While every attempt has been made to work with the previous owners and current management, it has become clear that drastic action is needed to protect the community.”
“Instead of doing nothing like the former Liberal government, we’re making sure the EPA has the power and resources it needs to deal with sites like this in Stawell.”